Blaine sent me this damn interesting post about Operation Acoustic Kitty, a Cold-War-era plan to use cats as listening devices. Basically, the CIA took a cat, surgically implanted a listening device into it (they put the antenna — where else? — in the tail) and then trained it to hang around one person. Predictably, things did not go as planed.
After several surgeries and intensive training, the cyborg cat was ready for its first field test. The CIA drove the cat to a Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C., and let him out of a parked van across the street. The cat ambled into the road, and was struck by a taxi almost immediately. Five years of effort and over $15 million in spending were reduced to roadkill in an instant. Shorty after its demise a CIA operative returned to the accident site and put the cat’s remains into a container to prevent the Soviets from getting their paws on the sensitive and expensive listening devices.
I imagine a lot of Cold-War-era plans went like Operation Acoustic Kitty: start with a ridiculous plan, spend lots of money, end in disaster. Good times.