In the deepest, darkest night in early January, Liam diligently searches for a cat he believes he might have hit.

It was late when the phone rang, and I was deep in the “fridge at the bottom of the stairs” working on a particularly complicated translation and revision project with a deadline that is scarily soon and trying desperately to ignore the cold. Linda answered and shouted down that Liam wanted to speak to me. Grateful for the excuse to go to a part of the house that has central heating, I ran upstairs only to be told by Liam that he thinks he hit a cat on the road and wanted to know what to do. I told him there is not much he can do: it is pitch black and it is a country road with a grass-filled ditch and a forest on one side and a steep grass verge, stone wall and fields on the other side. He hung up, then phoned back, asking me to come out to where he was and to bring a torch so he could search for a wounded or dead cat. I helped by driving my van behind him both to protect him from any oncoming vehicles and to cast some more light. We didn’t find a dead or wounded animal, and there was no blood or fur on any part of his car. I believe a cat ran out in front of him, but I don’t think he hit it. But, I suppose, we’ll never know.