Dear Ann Landers, Last night, I was driving in the city and hit a cat. "Just some stray animal," most people would say. I stopped my car and checked the poor creature, but it wasn't breathing. There was no identification, but I couldn't get over the guilt of thinking some child might be looking for "Fluffy" or "Tiger."
When I was growing up, my two cats were hit by cars. I begged my mother not to let them out, but she insisted that cats needed "prowling" time. That is the most insane thing I have ever heard. A pet is part of your family. Would you let a child out to play alone? Pets don't need to be out running around. Cats can be litter-trained. Dogs should be walked on a leash or kept in a fenced yard.
If one thing comes from this letter, I hope it is that people will take better care of their pets and give them the chance to grow old with the rest of the family. To the cat I hit last night: I'm sorry we couldn't have met under better circumstances. -- E.M. in Lonoke, Ark.
Dear E.M., The accident was not your fault, so please stop tormenting yourself. I have said several times that pet owners should NEVER let their pets roam free. Anyone who takes on the responsibility of caring for an animal should be willing to keep it safe from harm. Your letter may save a few of those nine lives.