Tuesday, 14 June 2011


This has been expanded from its Cat Rescuing blog appearance.
First I'd picked up a cat from Millfield which was to have its stitches out at Roker Park vets near the sea front. First though to Southwick on the other side of the river to pick up Carol and a cat. Once done at the vets, we dropped the Millfield cat off home then went round the corner to Pallion to pick up the cats and kitten mentioned above. From there back across the river to Downhill on the far northern edge of the city to drop off cat food with a fosterer, before returning Carol home. And all this at a time of high traffic density.

I'd got through most of the city centre and was in the dual carriageway which bypassed Park Lane bus station. There is a set of pedestrian operated traffic lights about twenty yards before a set of standard automatic lights. I was in the left hand lane behind two cars as I approached the first set and could see ahead past the next set that there were parked cars. So I pulled into the right hand lane and stopped at the automatic lights. I was just pulling away on green when I noticed in my rear view mirror that a person was collapsed in the road next to the lights immediately behind me. I did briefly wonder if I'd caused the accident and not noticed but thought that firstly, someone would have tried to attract my attention as there were several other cars and people around, and secondly that I'd have heard or felt any collision. So, as I hadn't seen anything, I drove off.

But the farther I drove the more I wondered if it could have been me. I told Susan when I got home and she immediately and correctly said I should go back. She drove me there and I found the person still on the ground, several police cars and officers milling around. I approached two officers and explained the situation. They'd only just arrived but were pretty sure it had nothing to do with me. They took my details and thanked me.

And that was it. But I was quite tired at the time after nearly two and a half hours of driving around. You never know...

The reason I thought it might have been me is related to something which happened a few weeks ago. I'd been calling on Carol, the lady who looks after the cats for us, as I often do, but was in a hurry to get home. I checked the mirror and reversed in a curve so that the van was backed up onto the opposite pavement. Then into first and a right turn to the street's exit.
When I got home, Susan told me that Carol had rang. Apparently I nearly hit a woman and child who had been walking along the pavement and that I stopped just inches from a little girl. Despite checking the mirror, I hadn't seen them. I'd looked but not seen. This is actually in line with psychological experiments which proved that we often don't see what we aren't expecting.

Frankly, it scared the crap out of me.

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