I don’t think a website about cats can avoid writing about the hazards of traffic on the roads. Normally we refer to it as one of the dangers confronting an indoor/outdoor cat. Being hit by a car is probably the single biggest danger to the domestic cat in the world after being “euthanised” at a cat shelter…..that’s another story.
In this post I’d like to personalize the problem of cats being involved in car accidents and turn it around. Have you run over a cat? If you have what did you do?
If a person does drive into a domestic cat it will almost never be the driver’s fault. Whose fault is it? That is a big question. It was my fault. I let my darling girl cat outside after I moved home in 1994 (one of my first cats) and she went over the road at night and was killed by a car. I have guessed that that is what happened. She went missing and after a long search I found her under a tree next the road. I still have a problem psychologically with that.
Where I now live there are two stray tabby cats. They behave like stray cats but are owned I believe by a wealthy next door neighbour who has a very careless approach to cat caretaking. They walk over the road opposite my home. This is a fairly busy road. I have even seen them do this when I am in the kitchen. I can tell you it is agony watching it. I don’t have time to get out and try and stop the cat. It would make things worse anyway.
So far these cats have survived. They are smart and check the road first. A previous cat belonging to this women that used to eat at my place died on the road doing the exact same thing.
Because of this, when I drive home I am slightly fearful of meeting one of these cats on the road. I can tell you it would be traumatic to me and the cat if I ran over the cat. I can visualise the whole thing and it would be agony because I would find dealing with a seriously injured cat extremely traumatic especially if I had run over him even though it was not my fault.
The first thing I would do is steel myself and then check if the cat was alive. Even that task could present some really difficult problems. What if the cat was injured but alive and in the middle of the road? I’d have to stop the traffic. It is dangerous trying to stop traffic in London. People are impatient. Drivers won’t see why you want to stop them. It is a thoroughly unusual thing to do. It would probably cause arguments and people to sound their horn and become angry etc. Chaos and a dying cat. A horror story potentially for someone who loves cats.
I would then take the injured cat to the nearest vet and walk in and politely request that the a vet deals with the cat as a matter of urgency explaining the situation. Fortunately I know a great vet nearby so I’d be there in about 5 minutes but what if you ran over a cat in a place that was unfamiliar to you?
You’d have to find out where the nearest vet was. That could a bit tricky. Perhaps you’d knock on someone’s door. They probably wouldn’t answer in the modern scared world. People don’t these days. So what do you do? If you had an iPhone you could locate the nearest veterinarian using Google Maps and phone ahead. That is one great reason for buying an iPhone! They are great in emergencies. I don’t have an iPhone.
But if you are not technically minded and don’t even have a mobile phone it could be tricky. You’d have to pick up the cat and take him to the nearest town I suppose and ask questions looking for a vet. This is challenging.
Let’s say you find a vet and the cat is hospitalised. Who pays the bill? Then you have to find the “owner”. If the cat has a collar with a phone number or is microchipped – great. But a lot of cats don’t and aren’t. Especially in the UK. It may be better in the USA. But you have to travel long distances sometimes in the USA to get to a town. Things are more spaced out.
Well, I guess you get my point. If you run over a cat and you care and want to do the proper and decent thing it is going to be a tough, traumatic task. I guess a lot of people just drive on….