5 Strange Cases of Accused Animal Spies

3. The Cat that Came in from the Cold



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The CIA got up to a lot of strange business in the 1960s. One of the strangest was an attempt by the organization to surgically alter household cats so that they could pass along audio recordings taken from Soviet embassies. The Smithsonian reports that “the team turned the cat into a transmitter—with…a wire running from the cat’s inner ear to a battery and instrument cluster implanted in its rib cage.”

The program was eventually scrapped because researchers couldn’t control the cat’s movements. It tended to simply wander off for its own mysterious reasons. How did they not see that coming? It was a cat. That is kind of what they do.

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