Thanks everyone for your sympathy, I couldn't bring myself to go back to this post before now.
It sounds like a few people out there know the pain of losing a pet.
Carissa, I hope she didn't suffer too but it was at least 36 hours between the attack and finding her so we'll never know. The dog was visiting someone in my block of flats and unfortunately allowed to run loose in our shared garden.
She was a real little SE1 character. We adopted her after she had spent 2-3 months living rough under one of the post-war prefabs that BOST used as an office in the old Diversity Garden in Library St. She was originally fed by a neighbour, then by BOST staff when the neighbour moved away, until the weather started turning very cold and I agreed to take her home.
One of the best decisions I ever made. She was a truly lovely little cat and brought us a lot of joy over the almost 5 years we had her. She already one front leg amputated when she came to us, and about a year after we brought her home, had severe problems with one of her back legs, turned out she had old injuries to that which had worsened. So we faced the choice between having her put to sleep, or experimental knee replacement surgery. We didn't hesitate and she became the 3rd cat in the world to have a knee replacement. I spent months driving her up and down to Surrey for appointments,doing her little rehab exercises with her, and it wasn't at all cheap but completely worthwhile as we had an extra 4 years of her delightful company.
It's a shame, she was so safe in our garden here and just pottered about. She never ventured out on to the road, and chased off foxes for us.
I hope anyone reading this will forgive my indulgent tribute to my dear departed pet, but I hope some of you might be interested to hear about the local character she was.