“A cat ran out in front of me”
In my new book Is Traffic Available? The Patrol Officer’s Guide To Collision Investigation, I have a chapter on the solo-vehicle collision, which covers the different excuses I hear from people when they crash into parked cars, curbs or poles. One common excuse is, “A cat ran out in front of me.”
In my time as a traffic cop, there have allegedly been many a four-legged suspect who have run out in front of cars and “caused” the driver to crash. The usual suspects are cats because people never blame dogs and I have yet to meet a witness who confirms this Cat-tastrophe. For some reason it seems like the cat is the purrrfect animal to blame for their misfortune.
Last night, this guy was driving down the street when he struck a parked car, causing his right front wheel to be ripped off the car. When I asked him what happened he said, “A cat ran out in front of me and I swerved.”
I shook my head as I laughed inside because I told this story last week to an officer at a solo-vehicle crash. Later that night the officer sent me an MDT message, saying she and her partner almost ran over a cat that ran out in front of them.
While I was waiting for a tow truck, one of my partners got my attention and pointed to a cat sitting on the sidewalk next to the collision scene. It looked like the cat was checking out his work with pride as he sat there with his chest puffed out.
I pointed to the four-legged suspect and asked the driver, “Is that the cat that ran out in front of you?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.