I laughed, but it was cut short. How would I feel if someone else took my car? Holy crap, I'd track them to the ends of the earth. I mean, my car is freakin' sweet. Ok, back it up. What if I had found my car abandoned with the keys in it? You can bet I'd come to think of it as mine as the years came down. Sure, I paid for it, fair and square, so I can only imagine how Sauron felt. I mean, he made the damned ring. Then, to have it jacked, wrecked, found again and parked away in a subterranean garage, found again and hidden in a garage in suburbia. Well, you know what I mean. Hell yeah, I'd be pissed. And whether I was Gollum or Sauron or even Bilbo who gave his ride, I mean the ring, away 'freely', realizing it was not technically his— they all felt it was something of theirs, no matter how they came to have it.
There's a certain feeling that comes from owning things... a certain affiliation in the mind. Ships are called she, and guys are often accused of loving their cars more than their women (or they sometimes openly profess it, like me), but there's a bond there not unlike the one that can form between any two people.
But more amazing, the lengths to which we must go to gain some measure of empathy for even a fictional character.