My friend Alayna is driving and I'm in the passenger seat. We're two blocks from her house, on a side street. We both see something in the road, something dark, maybe a box, not quite in the middle of the road, but definitely not on the shoulder.
We're going slowly, and as we get closer, we see that it's a cat. Alayna has to swing wide to go around it; that cat was not getting out of the way for a car, no sir.
We stop just past the cat. We're concerned. Maybe it's hurt. It was clearly alive, its head lifted and its luminous eyes staring at us as we drove past. I hop out to see what's going on.
I approach cautiously with my hand outstretched. The cat does not get up, but reaches its head out, sniffing. I pet it. It purrs. It's wearing a collar and seems well cared for. I pick it up to move it to the sidewalk.
"HEY. Please don't steal my cat."
A guy gets out of a car parked on the side of the road. Young-ish guy, no collar, but well kept, just like the cat.
"I'm not going to take your cat. I was just worried about it. It was laying in the street, and it didn't move when we drove by."
"Oh, he's like that. He likes to wander around. Swerve at him and he'll get out of the way."
I was totally unsure what to say about that. Who would suggest that you swerve at a live cat in the road? I put the cat down on the sidewalk.
"He seems like a nice cat." I guess that was a reasonable response. Noncommital, positive. Like I owe the guy something; he just suggested I aim a car at his cat. "Good night," I added.
I got back in the car, and we drove the last half block to Alayna's, my mind filled with unanswered questions.