In the 1960s, the CIA embarked on all sorts of strange espionage projects to spy on the Soviet Union. Perhaps there was none stranger than America’s first cyborg spy cat…the Acoustic Kitty.
The Acoustic Kitty Project?
The Acoustic Kitty project, which cost a whopping $25 million, wasn’t for the squeamish. Agents literally sliced open a cat, stuck batteries into him, and wired him up using the tail as an antenna. Then they dropped off the Acoustic Kitty in front of a facility believed to be used by Soviets. Unfortunately, the cat never got close enough for a proper test – it was wiped out by a taxi driver almost as soon as it hit the ground. Here’s more on the bizarre Acoustic Kitty project from TBD:
As if the D.C. Taxicab Commission wasn’t already receiving enough heat from the Uber mess, let’s turn to a sadder piece of local taxi history — the tale of how our country’s multimillion-dollar CIA-trained cat spy died at the wheels of a D.C. taxicab. Today I’ve already talked about dogs (and about cabs and technology), so it’s only fair I bring up felines as well.
…Accounts of the CIA’s $25-million Acoustic Kitty project are available throughout the Internet, but one of the more detailed and fun couple pages come from Alan Bellows’ book Alien Hand Syndrome in a section called “Cyborg Spy Kitties.” He recounts a former CIA agent’s description: “They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity.”
(Thanks to The Birdman & see Metro history: A D.C. taxicab killed America’s premier CIA-trained cat spy for more on the Acoustic Kitty project)