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Police say stray cat may be to blame in Kumamoto attempted murder case

MIFUNE, Kumamoto -- Police are probing the possibility that an elderly bedridden woman here who was found seriously wounded may have been attacked by a stray cat, an investigative source has disclosed.

    According to Mifune Police Station, the 82-year-old woman, who lives with her husband and eldest daughter, was found by her husband at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 with wounds on her forehead and other parts of her body.

    The police are officially treating the case as attempted murder, but the possibility that the wounds were caused by a cat has apparently not been ruled out.

    The woman's husband found her after returning from doing some work in the garden, and a nurse then called emergency services, as the woman has difficulty speaking and her husband is hard of hearing.

    According to the source, several stray cats in the area are being investigated, based on the nature of the wounds and the absence of any clues that an intruder ransacked the room. Of the cats investigated so far, one cat -- which the family sometimes feeds -- was found to have blood on its claws. Police are therefore considering the possibility that this particular cat may have dug its claws into the woman's face.

    A senior member of the Kumamoto Veterinary Medical Association, who holds a veterinary doctor's license, said, "I've heard of feral cats becoming aggressive, but I've never heard of one attacking a person while they are asleep."

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