What cat wouldn’t make a perfect spy? Unfortunately, one that the CIA picked to launch their experimental feline espionage program, codenamed: Acoustic Kitty. According to a recovered 1967 memo from the agency, researchers sewed audio recording equipment into a few good cats, then trained them to move short distances into strategic eavesdropping spots around Washington, D.C. The first furry surveillance drone was deployed in a park to spy on Soviet diplomats; sadly, within minutes, it was struck by a taxi and killed. The CIA resolved that “in a real foreign situation…it would not be practical.” The project landed in the litter box. Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think. This is how to decode your cat’s behavior.
Forget Amazon drones—the future of package delivery is Carrier Cats! That’s what the Belgian Society for Elevation of the Domestic Cat thought in the late 1800s: Even “a cat of average abilities” could be lured twenty miles into the countryside or a neighboring town, told to “scat,” and eventually find its own way home. The Society thus devised a kitty delivery service, with messages placed in water-proof bags around the necks of 37 cats. Unless, of course, “the criminal class of dogs [undertook] to waylay and rob the mail-cats,” as one 1876 Times article feared. In the end, it wasn’t dogs or curiosity that killed catmail; transporting and organizing the critters was just not worth the time or scratch marks. Your cats purr for a different reason than you may think. It’s not always because they are happy to see you.