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Wake Up With A Did You Know: The CIA Once Spent $20M To Train A House Cat To Be A Spy During The Cold War

Giphy Images.

It must have been good to be the Department Of Defense in the 1960s. If you had an INSANE idea that you wanted to try all you had to do was say that it would help with the war against the Soviets. You want to poison Castro so his beard falls out?…go for it. You want to nuke the fucking shit out of a small island in the South Pacific?…be our guest. You want to start a brothel where the prostitutes would give guys large doses of LSD while you watched through a two-way mirror for "research"?…that's fine. You want to spend $20 million on a spy cat…you got the green light. 

All of those things listed above actually happened, including the spy cat. Officially called "The Acoustic Kitty Project", The CIA wanted a way to infiltrate Soviet embassies and record conversations. They sat around Langley brainstorming and maybe had just watched James Bond and thought…"what if that cat…worked for us?"

And the response around the room…

So they got to work. They did surgery to implant a microphone and recording device deep in the cat's ear canal. Then they also implanted a radio transmitter near the base of the cat's skull. They spent millions of dollars developing the program, doing the surgeries required, and then years training the cat. With all of that time and research they forgot about one undeniable fact…cats are assholes. They couldn't get the cat to do ANYTHING. The CIA's first attempt to have the Acoustic Kitty do a real mission was to approach two men talking on a park bench near the Soviet Compound in Washington D.C. They released the cat near the men and the cat decided to nix the mission because he was hungry or something. There was also report that the cat got distracted, walked into traffic, and got smoked by a taxi. $20M down the drain. 

Eventually the program was canceled for good in 1967. This plan was never going to work. I mean you can't trust a cat. Look at this gif and what this cat did to its best friend

That's cats in a nutshell right there. Even if we did train them into being effective spies they would get to Russia and turn on us in a second. They'd flip and become double agents. Just giving the Russians all of our secrets just because they can. If you want a pet devoted to God and Country you need a dog. Everyone knows that. Do this program with yellow lab and we win the Cold War by 1970. 

PS: Underrated Disney song