Their most bizarre effort was ‘Operation Acoustic Kitty’. Their declassified documents revealed information on cats that had been surgically turned into sophisticated bugging devices with the idea that the cats would eavesdrop on Soviet conversations from park benches or where ever they might be.
The bugged cat was supposed to stroll up to the meeting point and completely unnoticed, listen in to any conversations that may be taking place and relay the information back to the waiting agents.
Funding was given, and work began. A cat was cut open and batteries inserted in him, his tail was turned into an antenna. The cat was tested over and over, but they found that the cat would just walk away when he got hungry, so he was again rewired to override the obstacle.
When they thought they were finally ready, the cat was taken out to a park and told to listen to two guys and nothing else, no birds, cats or dogs, just the two men.
After several attempts and intensive training, the Kitty was ready for its first field test. The CIA took the cat to a Soviet compound in Washington DC and let him out of their vehicle parked across the road. The cat ambled across the road and was struck by an oncoming taxi. Five years of planning and effort, along with $15,000,000 in funding, was reduced to a splat in the middle of the road in an instant.
The CIA collected the cat remains to prevent any Soviets from getting possession of the sensitive and expensive device. Operation Kitty was declared a failure and abandoned in 1967.
The documents describing the details of Operation Kitty remains partially censored while a memo states that while the use of trained moggies is possible for environmental and security purposes, it would not be practical.