Posted by: gillarbuthnott | April 18, 2019

Stranger than fiction…

Image result for very startled catThis is my final post about research, for a while anyway. Sometimes you find things that you think are true but turn out to be false, but occasionally you find something so weird it must be made up, but it’s true anyway…

And so it was that one day, doing some research for a book I have yet to write, all about historically significant cats, I came across project Acoustic Kitty.

We are going back in time, to the 1960s, the height of the Cold War. If only we had a way to eavesdrop on Soviet diplomats when they’re outdoors, thought the CIA. I know – we’ll use cats. They’d make the perfect secret agents. 

Image result for project acoustic kittyAnd lo! a cat was duly wired for sound. This involved implanting a microphone in its ear, a transmitter at the base of its skull and an aerial woven into its fur all the way to the tip of its tail. The tech worked. The only problem was, well…. have you ever tried to train a cat?

Undaunted, the CIA deployed Acoustic Kitty in Washington, where it promptly ran into the road and was run over by a taxi. The project was cancelled in 1967.

If only they’d spoken to a cat owner first, they could have saved a lot of time and money and tried to train a goldfish instead.

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