It wasn't a cat. It was a small fox.
He lay on his right side, four sooty legs and neat oval feet tucked up slightly in an attitude of peaceful rest. His mouth and eyes were partly open, and thick black whiskers curled forward expectantly from his sharp little muzzle. He was calm of expression, utterly perfect and unmarked. The tip of each individual russet or cream hair on his body had been delicately rimed with silver by the frost which still covered the grass beneath the pink morning sky.
I say he was perfect; most of his tail was missing, but this must have been an old, healed injury and it was a while before I noticed it at all. I suppose he'd been bonked by a car and collapsed at the side of the road. He had obviously gone, so I didn't want to spoil his beauty by prodding him or turning him over.
Since I had no way of contacting his family, wasn't equipped to perform a burial and certainly didn't fancy driving the rest of the way to work with a corpse crammed into my topbox, there seemed nothing else I could do...except to remember. Hence, this.