About 18 months ago, our youngest daughter came home from school and announced that one of her friends' cats was going to have kittens. "Terrific" I thought, "I'm very happy for it". Not being much of a cat person myself, I gave it barely anymore thought until one day she came home and asked if she could have one. Around about this point I was acutely aware of everyones eyes being on me. "Sure, why not?" says I - three little words that produced a moment that a parent will always remember, a look of pure joy on your kid's face. Brilliant.
A few weeks pass, and it turns out that the kitty is to be her Christmas present from her mate. Great, we're all prepared for the new arrival, then she drops the bombshell......."Can I have two?" "Two?" It turns out that no-one wants the last remaining kitten of the litter, a frankly gorgeous little grey cat.
Of course we relent, and are treated to another moment like the one I mentioned above. So, a week or so before Christmas we recieve two kittens, a black one named Patton -after the lead singer of Faith No More- and the grey one, named Dixie -after Everton legend Dixie Dean. I'm guessing you must be wondering what the point of this story is by now, and sadly I'm going to have to tell you.
A couple of days ago it seems Dixie was hit by a car and dragged along by it. He died in our house last night at about half past midnight. My wife and daughter are distraught, and frankly, despite my best efforts to hide it, so am I. You wouldn't believe how long it's taken me to type this.
So long little guy, I'll miss you. We all will.