Good morning, Laura.
As we've also seen in previous dreams, you place a great deal of importance in your ability to handle difficult situations, yet still do not feel confident enough. Your fear tends to overcome so powerfully that it interferes with your priorities - you cannot help your cat because you cannot face your fear of the old man.
In a previous dream, you learned to accept help when it is needed (though you still feel obligated toward those who help you, as seen in the money given to the woman at the garage). This dream is telling you that you need to be able to forgive yourself when you fail. But both still carry the message that your fear is your greatest obstacle.