If you have a cat, chances that sometimes you just let it be because you barely understand its behavior, are high. However, there are still some actions that may arouse your curiosity as it happened to one woman in Japan. The fact that she saw her neighbor’s cat behaving strangely led to the rescue of a man. Since good deeds should be rewarded, the cat was honored by police, but of course, it was not interested in the show of gratitude. Still, such a rare occurrence cannot go undocumented, so here is the story of Koko, the feline that helped save a man’s life.
Not all heroes wear capes
Imagine taking a walk in the evening and spotting a cat looking at a particular spot intently, but strangely. Well, that is what one elderly woman did, and unlike most people who would likely ignore the cat, she followed the cat’s gaze only to realize that Koko was looking at a man who had fallen into an irrigation canal. The man was elderly, and the canal that measured 60 cm wide by 40 cm deep already had water running about 15 cm deep, meaning that if the man remained for long, the outcome would be much worse.
Luckily, the woman’s daughter lives around the area; hence she came to the rescue, along with Koko’s family- her human mother, Nitta, and Nitta’s two sons. The combined effort of the five people assisted the man out of the irrigation canal, and luckily, he had not broken any bones but only sustained a few minor scrapes. Nitta was proud of her cat because were it not for Koko, the man would probably not have been rescued. The chief of the Toyama Minami police station, Satoshi Nakada, on the other hand, commended the five rescuers and the cat as well saying were it not for the bond that was evident among the locals, the rescue mission would not have happened.
It was not just a show of gratitude by words alone; the five people were presented with certificates of commendation while the cat got some cat food. Koko was, however, not keen on getting her five seconds of fame due to her shy nature; therefore, when the chief of police tried stroking her head, she turned away, but Nitta explained it was because Satoshi was a stranger to Koko.
How cats have helped police
If you are a fan of “Brooklyn 99,” then you must have watched the episode where they have to get rid of their rodent problem to avoid being shut down. Well, it seems that they captured how menacing rodents can be, and the British Transport Police could no longer waste money on methods that proved ineffective. Inspector Roy Sloane told BBC that they had spent a fortune on pest control, but since it was not working, they adopted Tizer, a 13-year-old cat, from Cats Protection charity. Tizer became an honorary constable whose primary duty was getting rid of rats, and since his recruitment, they solved their pest problem. Besides pest control, Tizer also helped boost the morale of the officers, and he became the most popular among the staff.
Apart from eating rats, cats can help police to catch criminals as one black cat did. In 2016, the Ephrata Police Department was on the hunt for a fugitive who had an outstanding Lancaster County bench warrant. After locating him in a backyard, the 23-year-old man fled, prompting police to comb the area without success. Before giving up, an officer noticed that a black cat was looking very keenly at two sheds in the backyard. Therefore after searching for the fugitive in the first shed and he was nowhere to be seen, the officer saw the feline’s eyes were fixed on the second shed. The cops found the man in the second shed, and the department was so grateful for the assistance they got from the cat that they shared the news on Facebook.
Police cats are treated as mascots
Despite the cats showing they can be of great use to the police departments, cops are yet to think of them as more than mascots, and even a five-year-old girl could not help but wonder why. Eliza wrote a letter to the local police asking why they did not have police cats; they are so good at finding stuff and listening out for danger. Eliza’s mother, Cheryl, felt she could not give the little girl a satisfactory answer, thus encouraged Eliza to write, and Cheryl did not expect a response. Mike Barton, the Durham Police chief, responded, saying he would talk to the inspector about Eliza’s idea. The Inspector, Richie Allen, later said that indeed they were looking to recruit a police cat but since the duties were yet to be outlined, it would most probably be a police mascot.
While that is not what Eliza expected the police cat to be doing, it seems that the police do not take cats as seriously as dogs. Therefore even those police cats that have been recruited are usually only publicity stunts. For instance, on March 6, 2018, the Troy Police Department in Michigan posted on Twitter that if they got at least 10,000 followers by April 2018, then they would get a police cat. It only took a week for them to get over 11,000 followers, and the local Human Society took five kittens to audition for the position. Even the Troy Police Department would have the cat recruit become a mascot too, according to ABC News. They chose Pawfficer Donuts whose only duty is to boost the morale of the officers, not help solve crimes.
The fact that cats may never be taken as more than just mascots was further proven by one police officer who pranked traffic offenders that his cat was searching for drugs. He carried his cat to work that day and told the offenders that the cat, Officer Froo Froo, was part of the feline unit and had been in the department for eight years. He added that the cat’s three meows would mean that she had sniffed contraband. However, it was an April fool’s day prank, and the video was shared over 55, 000 times after being posted on the Salina City Police Facebook page.