A burglar made off with haul worth £112,000 over a year long spree to feed 120 cats a gourmet diet, police in Japan said. Mamoru Demizu, 48, is suspected of breaking into houses 32 times to steal cash and jewels.
He told officers that he stole for money to feed scores of his feline friends, spending up to 25,000 yen (£148) a day, police said.
"He said he felt happiest when he rubbed his cheek against cats," the officer said.
According to the AFP news agency, police said unemployed Demizu kept one animal at his home in Izumi city, western Japan.
He kept around 20 in a nearby warehouse, while feeding 100 more strays that lived in the neighbourhood.
A catastrophe was averted on the New York subway when the service was shut down so that two kittens who had wandered onto the tracks could be rescued.
Commuters using the Q and B lines in Brooklyn at around 11am on Thursday faced two-hour delays, which were initially explained as "ongoing NYPD activity".
It transpired that train workers were on the tracks looking for the kittens and trying to coax them to safety with food, the New York Times reported.
Staff had been alerted to the creatures' predicament by their owner, who had managed to lose the pets at Church Avenue station during a subway ride.
The service was resumed just after 1pm following the "escape" of the felines, who were eventually found safe and well yesterday evening, although possibly with just eight lives remaining.
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The Charity Allergy UK have said the research into cat allergies could be a "big step forward" in understanding allergic reactions, even suggesting the findings could lead to treatments for dog allergies.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered that a common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen.
Allergy UK's Director of Clinical Services Maureen Jenkins said:
This new information identifying the specific receptor interaction in the immune system could pave the way for treatments for those with persistent disease triggered by cat allergen and, in the future, potentially dog and house dust mite allergen.
Scientists have discovered how allergic reactions to cats are sparked, leading to new hopes of a preventative treatment.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge discovered that the common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen, which triggers a large immune response in sufferers including coughing, wheezing and sneezing.
Lead author of the research Dr Clare Bryant said she hoped the research would "lead to new and improved treatments for cat and possibly dog allergy sufferers."