People are doing strange things. And when a war has to be won, strangeness increases, as if people shed everything that bound them to rational thinking and replace it by weird enemy ideas and total lack of respect for human and animal life.

Nick Redfern  wrote ‘Monster Files’ (2013) , a book about how Americans and others used – or tried to use, animals in warfare. Always absurd, expensive, but not always very succesful, as we shall see. Listen to the story of ‘Acoustic Kitty’ .

Star Trek fans are familiar with the ‘Borg‘, a race of aliens that plays an important role in the series. They move around in gigantic cubes, and every other civilisation they happen to meet they seek to convert in to hybrid drones: half flesh, half technology. That conversion is almost always successful, for, as they announce beforehand “Resistance is Futile” .

Perhaps ‘Resistance is Futile’ crossed the mind of Acoustic Kitty, when the master race of CIA agents cut her open and replaced some of her soft organs with wires and hardware. I don’t think they explained to her her future calling: being a catspy in the service of the blessed nation’s Cold War with Russia. That the business of Cold Wars warmed kitty’s heart is unlikely.

The plan was that the cat would roam around the Russian Embassy, while microphones in her tail and whatever in her body recorded and transmitted fragments of conversations that could help make the political situation even worse than it already was.

Such healthy plans don’t come cheap. The whole operation took 5 years, innumerable highly trained war technicians and deep thinkers, and the costs were about 15 million. In the Sixties. Now it would be many times more. Kitty, in case you wonder, did it for free.

She survived the operations. And recovered according to plan. Nevertheless some had doubts. Kitty was still a cat, and it was very hard to convince her that she had to concentrate, and listen in on conversations without being distracted by catty things like an insect, or another cat. Or  the smell of food. So they manipulated her sense of hunger, by operating on her brain. And then came the Big Day of the first trial on location.

In a discrete car they brought her to the Embassy, and opened the door…

The million dollar cat was only a few meters away  when a speeding taxi hit and killed her. This one had no nine lives, says Nick Redfern.

She sure had not. The CIA couldn’t move away fast enough from this costly debacle. Cats are safe for now, and don’t have to chose between loyalties any more.

Until another idiot thinks up some nutty idea, of course.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements