Sunday, May 07, 2017

The Hit

Oh brother.  Last night didn't go as planned.

I thought it would be easy as pie to catch at least four of the remaining cats over at the Albany colony.   It's a quiet little cul de sac, with very little activity and zero traffic that I've seen before.   I had permission to park in the neighbors driveway, with him gone, to trap, too.  That's where the cats hang out.

He and I had discussed the lack of a place to park there, when I talked to him.  I have to have line of sight on the drop trap, when I use it, to yank the string when an unfixed cat is eating in the trap.  And yet I need to be far enough away that the cats will come out and go under it to eat.

I headed over about 6:30 or so.   Almost immediately a red car fell in behind me.  At times the car was tailgating me so closely, I became uneasy, but there was nowhere to pull off.   The car would edge out into the other lane, then into the bike lane on the other side.  'Uh oh," I thought, when I saw that.  I figured the driver was impaired or texting or just one of those angry people.

I was dismayed when I turned off that street onto another and the car followed.  I made two more turns to get to the colony location and the car was still behind me.  I was now on the cul de sac where I was going to trap and made the circle at its end to come back to park where I was to trap.  The car came into the cul de sac behind me but stopped in front of one house.  I didn't even look, hoping the woman would leave me be.   She honked for some reason, I didn't know why, but then pulled into a house driveway and I went up two houses on the other side, and set up the drop trap and forgot about her.

I caught the big black male who I'd first seen on the old woman's back porch sleeping.   I loaded him up and rebaited the plate under the drop trap.   I'd only sat there afterwards a short time, when I saw the red car pull back out of the driveway and come up the block towards me.  I was parked across the guys' driveway, with his permission.   But not quite across from the back of my car, was the end of a utility trailer.  The truck and trailer seem permanent fixtures along the curb.  She had plenty of room to get through.

 I started to get out of my car when I saw her coming.  For some reason, I knew she was going to hit me.   I figured out of road rage maybe, or impairment, because of the tailgating that went on before.

I had cracked the door, was about to step out, to stop her, when she crunched into the back of my car.  "Shit," I thought.

I got out and stood looking.   Her bumper had collapsed mine on my drivers side rear.   'Who hits a parked car?'  I was shaking.   And worried about the cat in the car who was in the back on that same side.

She immediately told me not to call 911.  She was very concerned I would call 911 and started telling me I was illegally parked in a yellow curb zone and it would be me getting the ticket and paying out, that it was all my fault.  I was not parked at all in front of yellow.  She claimed she would pay to fix my car then, that her brother would fix it.    I was trying to dial 911, but somehow my finger when it hit the "9" had sent what seemed like a zillion "9's" across the screen.  I was trying to delete them, one by one, my hands still trembling.

Her speech wasn't blurred or anything but something wasn't right.  I believed she was impaired, and now all this intimidation.  Was she right when she said my rates would go up?  I didn't know and my brain was thinking about that, would my rates go up even if it was her fault?  I could not afford that, I remember thinking.  I was thinking about my poor car too.  The bumper was crunched.

I asked her to pull her bumper off mine, and finally she backed off my car with more terrible scraping sounds.

But then I watched, in utter amazement, as my crunched in bumper, with pops and groans, popped back out.  I could not believe my eyes.  Its scraped up and loose now, but it popped right back out into shape.

In the end, she left.  We did not exchange information despite my bumpers damage and paint scrapes on hers.  Why not?  Because I'm an idiot, who didn't know what to do, and got intimidated.

I know who she is though and her address and another neighbor who was driving down the cul de sac, witnessed the entire event. I left afterwards, upset and mad at myself for not reacting right.

I felt very gullible and stupid and realize my isolation and lack of human contact on a regular basis might be one reason it is difficult to react adequately in such situations.  Also, my brain was thinking in slow motion, like I was really somewhere else, or wanted to be, while she talked.  I was thinking "I just want her to shut up and leave.  I just want to catch those three teen kitties."  I was thinking those thoughts at the same time she was going on about how it was all my fault and not to call 911 and this and that.

I'll file an accident report on Monday with the DMV and my insurance company to cover myself if she tries to file a claim later, as has happened to me once before, long ago.

Shit happens.  But I wish I could have caught the three teens too before she hit me.

I caught this one at least before The Hit!

I guess I may have not wanted to bother exchanging information for another reason.  I have a deep seated distrust of car insurance companies.  I've never had a claim against me in my adult life.  I pay out hundreds every year to the company, have all my life, and know if someone hits me they won't blink and will total my car and give me a check that won't come close to allowing me to replace it.  

I got a survey from them a few months ago.  "How are we doing for you?" the survey questions wanted to know.   How are they doing?  You take hundreds of dollars from me every year.  From my perspective that money is gone, burned, whirling down a black hole.  In my mind, when I pay out, I see rich executives, vacationing in exotic places, driving fancy cars, living the high life.  And I know you won't be there for me if someone plows into my car.  You'll do the least you can get away with doing.   That's what I think of auto insurance companies.


  1. How awful! I'm so sorry that psycho hit your car. I would probably have reacted much the same. In fact, I did let someone go in a similar situation many years ago. ~sigh~ I hope today is better! Best wishes.

    1. Me too, on hoping today is better. My car was amazing last night, the way that bumper groaned and moaned, then popped back out to shape. I should not have been surprised, not from my car.

  2. I don't think lack of human contact had anything to do with you being scared and not thinking as calmly as you would have liked. That was one scary situation. I'm sorry that this just another thing to deal with for you. Maybe you can get the woman's story from the man whose driveway you parked in. Did she live in the other house, or was she just visiting?

    1. No, she lives on the cul de sac there. Two houses down from where she hit me, actually. I know where she works too. Another neighbor gave me a bit of her background. I think she's probably a nice person, basically.

  3. You were rattled - it's totally understandable. And you were in a totally different headspace and did not want to deal with her particular brand of dysfunction at that moment.

    But, I'll tell you what someone told me for the next time.

    "If it wasn't your fault, you call the police, every time. If it was your fault, leave it up to the other person whether or not to call police".

    Now, the one time I had my parked car hit, the woman didn't even realize she had hit it. She was elderly and frail and probably should not have still been driving and I felt sorry for her. My fender was damaged, but I told her everything was fine, nothing to worry about. In retrospect, I should have called the police. Or at least taken her info and filed a report. What if she went on to actually hurt someone? Sure, it was an area with a retirement community and she drove slowly, but she should NOT have been driving, anymore. The idea of taking that away from her made me feel so badly, I let it slide, but I shouldn't have. For the safety of others, I should have reported it.

    So you reporting the hit on Monday is a good idea. For all you know, she has a record of impaired driving and needs to be stopped. Or this is her first and it will help for the next time to maybe get her impaired ass off the roads. Either way, keep the rule above in mind for next time - it'll make it easier to make a decision when you're badly rattled. I made the wrong call when I had the chance, but I won't do it again.

    1. Thanks Kalli, yes I was rattled. I don't know for sure she was impaired, but strongly thought she was.

  4. I am so sorry. And would have been rattled too. My flight or fight buttons would have been screaming at me to get away.
    I am glad that you are going to report it though. T