A UK Police Force Is Considering Adding Crime-Fighting Cats to Its Ranks

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A U.K. police force is considering adding felines to its ranks — because who better suited to bring cat burglars to justice than real, live cats? 

Five-year-old Eliza Adamson-Hopper penned a letter to Mike Barton, Durham's police chief, asking why dogs were allowed to help fight crime but cats weren't, the Guardian reported. In Barton's response, he promised Eliza that he would bring the idea to an inspector for consideration, drawing a picture of his own cat — Joey — on the back of the letter, as evidence of his cat love.

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"I can confirm the force is looking into recruiting what we believe to be the first U.K. police cat," Inspector Richie Allen, a member of Durham's canine support unit, told the Guardian. "Their duties and responsibilities have not yet been agreed but if nothing else they will become the force mascot."

"Of course, if it smells a rat we'll expect it to catch it," he added, possibly chortling because puns.

This is not an April Fools' Day joke, the Guardian wrote, having confirmed its legitimacy with a police spokesperson. Durham's wouldn't be the first feline in uniform — as the Guardian pointed out, London transit police adopted a tabby in 2007 to catch mice.

Which may or may not be all Durham's police cat is qualified to do. Trying to get a cat to do what one wants it to do is notoriously, maddeningly difficult — the simile "like herding cats" exists for a reason — and while they can be mean as hell, they generally aren't aggressive in the same way that dogs can be. But, as anyone who's seen 101 Dalmatians can imagine, they might be useful in busting robbers, stealthy and skilled at slinking into small places as they are. 

The real question of course: will it wear a uniform and if so, what might that look like?

Source: WPA Pool/Getty Images
Source: WPA Pool/Getty Images