A stray cat is the prime suspect in the attempted murder of an elderly Japanese woman. Mayuko Matsumoto, an 82-year-old bedridden woman, was found bleeding heavily from various cuts on her face at her home in Mifune, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, on Nov. 6.

Matsumoto’s daughter found her mother bleeding profusely at her home, according to Japan Today. She had more than 20 cuts on her face, some of which were severe. The elderly woman was rushed to a hospital, where she received emergency care, reported Japanese publication Jezebel

The daughter informed the police, who launched an attempted murder investigation after seeing the wounds on the elderly lady.

“When we found her, blood covered everything above her chin. Her face was soaked in blood. I didn't know what had happened,” said Matsumoto’s daughter according to Japan Today.

According to various publications, the police initially suspected somebody entered Matsumoto’s house and attempted to kill her. But the investigators could not find any sign of people entering or leaving the house at the time of the suspected attack.

After the woman received emergency medical care and her wounds were cleaned up, the authorities realized she was attacked by a cat, the Inquisitr, a publication from Tampa, Florida, reported.

Thereafter, the animal control authorities carried out a hunt for stray cats in the neighborhood and found traces of what could be human blood on a cat’s claws. Currently, the blood sample has been sent to a lab for testing to confirm if it matched with that of the victim.

Frank J.M. Verstraete, professor of surgical and radiological sciences at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine told the Inquisitr, “Domestication has been going on so long that I don’t think cats retain much of a killing instinct, other than watching bird feeders and the occasional rodent.”

According to the professor, unlike dogs that have powerful jaws capable of killing humans, a cat’s bite is not fatal to human beings.

Matsumoto was lucky to be saved, but last year a Japanese woman died of a tick-borne disease after being bitten by a stray cat. The woman, in her 50s, died 10 days after being bitten by the cat as she tried to take it to a veterinary hospital, reported the Daily Mail.

The woman’s blood samples were tested and it was confirmed she had contracted thrombocytopenia syndrome, known as SFTS, a disease transmitted by virus-carrying ticks, according to a report in New Zealand-based publication News Hub.

In Japan, nearly 60 people contract the SFTS disease every year from tick bites out of which some 20 percent die. According to the report in Daily Mail, there are no preventive medicines or vaccines available for curing the disease.