Student sets out to review everything in existence. Fails miserably.
The acoustic cat. It certainly sounds intriguing; functional yet adorable, yes? The name alone might have been enough to sell it to you, and you probably don’t even know what it is.
To take a proper look at this product, we need to take a step back into the past. We’re taking a trip to the world of espionage, so light your cigarette, put on your trenchcoat and settle down next to that man with the suspicious-looking briefcase. This is the story of the acoustic cat.
During the Cold War, American Intelligence found itself facing a problem. Soviet agents were using ingenious methods to avoid having their conversations listened in on by bugging devices or American spies, and by ‘ingenious’, I mean they were going outside. Obviously, if a suspicious-looking man sidled up to them and tried to listen in the game would be up, and despite their best efforts, the CIA’s psychic division were producing mixed results. They needed a plan, something so cunning, so sophisticated, that the Soviets wouldn’t even realise that they were being spied on. What they came up with instead was operation Acoustic Kitty.
The plan was simple: they would fit a number of cats with recording devices and let them loose in the general vicinity of the Soviet compound in Wisconsin Avenue, D.C, because after all, whoever would suspect a cat of being a spy? To this end, they implanted microphones in the cats, stuffing them with wires and batteries and turning their tails into adorable little antennae. However, they soon ran into a slight problem. These were cats. It’s hard enough getting a cat to sit, never mind convincing it to surreptitiously approach whispering men in fedoras in order to spy on them. The best they solution they could come up with was to use series of slight electrical impulses to shock the cat into facing vaguely in the right direction and hope for the best.
After years of testing and millions of dollars spent, the project was nearing completion. Jonesy was fitted with all the recording devices, piled into a van, and driven out to the Soviet Compound. Operation Acoustic Kitty was go.
I wish I could have been with them on that tense morning as the CIA agents prepared everything in their van on Wisconsin Avenue. Years of Communists openly discussing secrets on American soil were about to come to an end. So much money and time had been spent on this project that it just had to be a resounding success. They had checked the equipment and checked it again, their van had gone unnoticed by the Soviets, and they could get their cat over to the agents. They must have been so excited, so proud of themselves when they opened the door, pointed the cat towards the park where the communists were meeting, and put him down onto the street…
Where he was immediately hit by a cab and killed.
Should you buy one though? That’s hard to say. It’s obviously caters for a very niche market, but I can see it being just the kind of weird product that you kids would take to like a spaniel takes to the vicar’s leg. Sure, there are a few hardware problems, and durability is something of an issue, but I don’t know, it could be the next big thing. I’ll leave you to make your own minds up.
Actually I just wanted an excuse to tell that story. Could you tell?