On the way home from work, about 9:30 p.m., in an unlit area, a cat darted into the road and under my car. I saw nothing but a flash of white out of the corner of my eye . . . I thought it might be a box. But I hit it hard, so I turned around and went back to make sure it wasn't animal. It was a cat, coiled into an impossible ball, her beautiful eyes open and staring at my car.
I thought she was dead, and honestly I'd feel better if she'd died. Years ago I hit a Doberman at 60 mph and was able to tell the owner that her dog died on impact and suffered not at all. But this poor cat . . . as I watched, she somehow struggled to her feet and staggered to the side of the road. A car approached her fast in the other lane, but I blinked my lights repeatedly and he slowed down.
The cat was near a driveway, so I pulled into it—and she immediately disappeared. Of course it was pitch black outside. There were three houses in the area. I went to all of them, trying without success to locate the cat's owner. In one house, a teenage boy said to me, "It was probably just a stray. Don't worry about it." I said, "I'm very worried about it, because I hit that cat hard and I'm afraid she's in terrible pain right now." He looked at me like I was nuts, and went back to his TV.
I don't blame myself for what happened, but I feel awful about it. I don't know why cats run out in front of (or under) cars like that. Maybe fear has something to do with it. Maybe this cat's worst fear came true.