Tizer Lands a Job Working for the Police After Ending Up at a Shelter Following the Death of His Previous Owner
"PC Tizer is an essential member of the team. Since we got him we haven't seen any mice in the building. He doesn't catch them, but he must be scaring them away. Prior to his arrival we were spending a fortune on pest control and it wasn't really working."
-- Inspector Roy Sloane
Thirteen-year-old Tizer had had a good life until his world was turned upside down with the sudden death of his guardian back in August. He then wound up in a cage at a north London shelter operated by Cats Protection.
He very well could have remained there indefinitely were it not for the fact that mice had pretty much taken over the rail station at King's Cross. Consequently, when Inspector Roy Sloane of the British Transportation Police visited the shelter in September he selected Tizer to become the station's head mouser.
The cat has since been made an honorary constable and works out of Sloane's office. He also has unfettered access to all areas of the three-story building, including the debriefing room, mess hall, and reception area.
"PC Tizer is an essential member of the team. Since we got him we haven't seen any mice in the building. He doesn't catch them, but he must be scaring them away," Sloane told the Islington Gazette on October 17th. (See "Rodents Beware...Tizer's on Paw-Trol!") "Prior to his arrival we were spending a fortune on pest control and it wasn't really working."
Sloane's admission just goes to show how valuable cats still are today in keeping the rodent population in check. In spite of their exorbitant costs and the deadly poisons at their disposal, pest control companies are not always up to the job.
Back in the 1990s, officials at 10 Downing Street were praising John Major's cat, Humphrey, for his prowess at catching mice while they were simultaneously excoriating Rentokill for never catching anything. (See Cat Defender post of April 6, 2006 entitled "Humphrey, the Cat from 10 Downing Street Who Once 'Read' His Own Obituary, Passes Away at 18.")
By hiring PC Tizer, Sloane and his colleagues got more than a mouser, however, Since his arrival, the cat has also helped to boost morale as well as to reduce stress. (See photo above of Tizer and Sloane.)
"Everyone is always asking after him, and he is probably the most popular member of staff," Sloane told the BBC on November 16th. (See "Cat Recruited to Patrol Station.")
PC Tizer is a natural for the job in that he is both friendly and energetic. "He loves being around people, and likes nothing more than playing fetch with his toy spider," Alex Davies of Cats Protection told the BBC in the article cited supra.
"He has charmed the socks off all the officers," he added for the Islington Gazette. "Roy has overall responsibility for him, but he is spoilt rotten by the officers. He shares Roy's office, so he has got rather a senior position within the station."
The idea of a cat working for the police does, admittedly, take a bit of getting used to for some ailurophiles. Most cats come from the other side of the tracks and therefore make much better free-spirited rogues than they do establishment types. Darby Conley's Bucky Katt, Peter Gallagher's Heathcliff, and Booth Tarkington's Gipsy from out of the pages of Penrod and Sam are but three examples that readily come to mind.
It is not unusual, however, for cats to melt the hearts of even the most jaded cops. For instance, officers of a Philadelphia station house were left heartbroken back in May when their beloved Corporal Cuffs disappeared. (See Cat Defender post of May 29, 2007 entitled "Corporal Cuffs, Beloved Station House Mascot, Is Abducted Right Under Cops' Noses.")
Many individuals associate the bald eagle with freedom but the true standard bearer for freedom, individuality, and nonconformity has always been the cat. As long as they are revered for the exquisite and valuable creatures that they are and their freedom of movement is not impinged upon, there will always be a measure of hope that freedom and equality will live on in the hearts of at least some men and women.
Finally, the unexpected death of Tizer's previous owner calls attention to the pressing need for all animal caretakers to make provisions for their charges' continued care after they are either dead or become incapacitated in some unforeseen fashion. This could include something as simple as asking a family member to assume responsibility for a pet or the drafting of elaborate legal arrangements.
Regardless of whatever choices are made, the important thing to bear in mind is that life continues for cats and dogs long after their owners are gone and no loving caretaker wants to see his or her lifelong companion end up in a shelter. Tizer landed on his four paws and now has a new life but most cats and dogs are not nearly as fortunate.
Photo: Islington Gazette.