Our cat, Leo, who travelled with us all the way from Australia, died this morning having struggled with FIV (the feline version of HIV) for the last year.

For those of you who have never had a pet, this will probably sound ridiculously sentimental. Others will know how much they are loved and treated as much as one of the family as any human. And how heart-wrenching it is when they pass away.

Leo adopted us when we moved into our house in Sydney, having been abandoned by the previous neighbours, and quickly found his way into our hearts. I grew up with cats in the house and have known many, but rarely one with such character and never one that was so sociable. He was never aloof and always wanted to be around people. always sitting on our desks whilst we worked or on the sofa with us in the evening always chatty and purring. He even softened the hearts of even the most die-hard, anti-cat dog lovers.

He was truly one of a kind. For us he has been like a child over the past seven years. We both numb at the loss and sitting here swollen-eyed from all the tears. In some small way I hope that this little post secures his place and memory in the world.

Lastly, thank you to all the people who have cuddled him and looked after him whilst we were away. You all know what a lovely fella he was.

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