AN INVESTIGATION into the “attempted murder” of an elderly Japanese woman has revealed an unlikely prime suspect: a stray cat.
Mayuko Matsumoto, who is 82 years old and bedridden, was discovered by her daughter bleeding heavily from multiple face wounds in her home in a remote mountainous region of Japan.
Ms Matsumoto was hospitalised having suffered around 20 cuts to her face and couldn’t identify her attacker as she is reportedly unable to speak.
“When we found her, blood covered everything above her chin,” Matsumoto’s daughter told local Japanese broadcaster RKK.
“Her face was soaked in blood. I didn’t know what had happened.”
Police launched an attempted murder investigation but were baffled after finding no sign of a break in at the elderly woman’s home.
But after further inspection authorities realised that Ms Matsumoto’s wounds looked like scratches, making a stray cat their primary suspect.
According to Japanese newspaper Nishinippon Shimbun, stray cats often hang around outside the 82-year-old’s home in the town of Mifune and police found traces of what might be human blood on one of the felines.
“Police are analysing a blood sample taken from the claw of the cat which might have scratched the victim,” national broadcaster NHK reported.
A police spokesman declined to directly comment on the case on Friday, but told AFP that investigators were not disputing the media reports.