Operation Acoustic Kitty attempted to turn otherwise ordinary pet cats in to secret listening devices.
The experimental project was attempted in the 1960s in an effort to find an effective way to eavesdrop on the private conversations of foreign officials. To accomplish this, researchers augmented a common household cat with surveillance equipment including a microphone in its ear canal and a small radio transmitter in the base of its skull. The cat was then trained to go and sit next to the target so that it would pick up what was being said.
To test the effectiveness of their creation, CIA staff members drove the experimental feline to a local park and released it in the hope that it would let them eavesdrop on the conversation of two people sitting on a bench. Unfortunately things didn't quite go to plan - the cat was utterly disinterested in its agenda of national security and instead decided to wander in to the street where it was promptly run over by a taxi.
The project was abandoned soon afterwards.
"The problem was that cats are not especially trainable - they don’t have the same deep-seated desire to please a human master that dogs do - and the agency’s robo-cat didn’t seem terribly interested in national security."
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