In Kyoto, Japan, the long arm of the law ends in a paw! Meet Iemon (Ee-eh-mon), Japan's first police cat, an abandoned stray who unofficially joined the force at the tender age of two weeks. He now spends much of his time atop the service counter at Yoro Station, adding a kinder, gentler, dare we say “human” touch to the local cop shop.
Police work is serious business, of course, and Iemon won't be riding shotgun on any neighborhood curfew sweeps or sensitive stakeouts. Not that there's much call for such things: approximately 30% of the local households consist of elderly residents over the age of 65. Life moves at a slower pace and residents have little need to adjust their pacemakers.
On occasion the handsome blue-eyed crimefighter will accompany the sergeant on duty when he visits local residents to caution against fraudulent phone calls, a serious problem among Japan's aging population. Iemon's presence helps put anxious oldsters at ease as they report suspicious calls of the “It's me, please send money” variety.
For the most part, Iemon's function appears to be skewed more towards public relations than private detectives. He enjoys visits from children and looks reasonably impressive in his custom-made policeman's uniform topped with a cap bearing a paw-print badge. Those with felonious intent should not take this feline lightly, though, as he hasn't been de-clawed and has a low tolerance for jailbirds. (via Jiji.com, images via Satoyado and Chatta)