For those of you who didn't see this post 5 years ago, we thought we'd re post it as it's a really weird story...
During the cold war, the CIA attempted to transform an ordinary domesticated house cat into a sophisticated bugging device as part of Operation Acoustic Kitty. The idea was to surgically alter
cats so they could eavesdrop on Soviet conversations from park benches and window sills.
The project began in 1961when the CIA implanted a battery and a microphone into a cat and turned its tail into an antenna. However, the cat wandered off when it was hungry a problem that had to be addressed in another operation. Finally after 5 years, several surgeries, intensive training and 15 million dollars, the cat was ready for its first field test.
The CIA drove the cat to a Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington DC and let it out of a parked van across the street. The cat walked into the road and was immediately hit by a taxi.
Operation Acoustic Kitty was declared a failure and completely abandon in 1967.
OK, we have no idea if there is any truth to this tail... but we got it from a reliable source... the Internet!
Then there is this;
In 1968 the Army began experimenting with the use of "night eyes" or "seeing eye cats". The Army had for a long time been quietly impressed with the night vision of cats. The mission of the project was to employ this special ability; harnessed cats were to lead foot-soldiers through the thick jungle during the dead of night.
Certain people in high command had such enthusiasm for the idea that an order was given that "night eyes" be field tested, so the operation was put into use in Viet Nam on an experimental basis.
After a month of night maneuvering with the seeing-eye cats, a report was filed with the section on Unconventional Warfare which in part stated; "...A squad, upon being ordered to move out, was lead off in all different directions by the cats.
"...On many occasions the animals lead the troops racing through thick brush in pursuit of field mice and birds.
"...Troops had to force the cats to follow the direction of the patrol; the practice often led to the animals stalking and attacking the dangling pack straps of the American soldiers marching directly in front of them.
"...If the weather was inclement or even threatening inclemency, the cats were never anywhere to be found.
"...Often when the troops were forced to take cover, the animals took this opportunity to sharpen their claws on the boots of the troops, regardless of the seriousness of the situation.
"...A number of the troops traded their animals to Vietnamese women for their favors. When questioned about this, the troops claimed the animals ran away.
The project was suspended.
*originally written by Brian McConnachie and found in Cat Catalog printed in 1976
Have a wonderful weekend!
Noodle and crew