Cat Smuggler

Not a cat burglar, a cat smuggler.

Guards thought there was something suspicious about a little white cat slipping through a prison gate in northeastern Brazil. A prison official says that when they caught the animal, they found a cellphone, drills, small saws and other contraband taped to its body.

Another article, with video.

A prison spokesperson was quoted by local paper Estado de S. Paulo as saying: "It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak."

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM • 23 Comments

Comments

Stephan BrunJanuary 8, 2013 2:00 PM

Heh. A criminal animal, Or an animal criminal. Or the smallest, cutest, mule ever seen.

RyanJanuary 8, 2013 2:01 PM

"It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak."

Follow it... see who it goes to... If you don't wait too long that the parties involved get suspicious, you could do it twice to get at both sides of the transaction.

Seriously, they have a living version of a man-in-the-middle attack in their hands, and they don't take advantage? Who are these cops, the Keystone variety?

GuyJanuary 8, 2013 2:01 PM

The guards aren't very imaginative. Just replace the contraband on the cat and wait to see who grabs the cat. There's a small chance that the wrong guy grabs the cat, but that's what interrogations are for.

What I'm wondering is how they got the cat to leave the items taped on it, and how they got it to go into the prison.

uair01January 8, 2013 2:08 PM

There is a book about the tech specialists of the CIA that describes an idea to implant a bugging device into a cat that kept walking in to the compound of the Iranian (?) embassy. Name and details escape me now. Someone here must know.

paranoia destroys yaJanuary 8, 2013 2:15 PM

@uair01 - That sounds like one of the things in a History Channel show on Weird Tech.
The cat got run over by a car.

No OneJanuary 8, 2013 2:18 PM

@uair01: According to Wikipedia, Acoustic Kitty, the cat was to be used against Soviets. The first deployment failed because the cat was hit by a taxi... All subsequent deployments failed for various reasons.

I think it comes down to cats not being predictable enough or controllable enough.

LinkTheValiantJanuary 8, 2013 2:27 PM

The guards aren't very imaginative. Just replace the contraband on the cat and wait to see who grabs the cat. There's a small chance that the wrong guy grabs the cat, but that's what interrogations are for.

Replace the phone with a tracking device (ohwait, never mind, that's what a phone is now) and see what happens.

I'm not sure why someone would consider a cat for this though. As No One points out, cats do what they want when they want it. I would think monkeys or mustelids would be more reliably trainable.

No OneJanuary 8, 2013 3:55 PM

@aw: But they do pay interest! Story time -- My kitten likes to steal hair ties. The other day my girlfriend hops in the shower, the kitten comes into the bathroom, takes her hair tie and leaves. When the shower ends, the kitten saunters back in the room, drops off the hair tie and a piece of kibble with it and leaves.

B. JohnsonJanuary 8, 2013 4:43 PM

There was a cartoon in the late 80s called C.O.P.S. where the recurring villain boss smuggled something into prison to one of his cronies carried by his pet weasel.

Of course, the weasel had cybernetic implants and could fly, but still, easy to see why we need to ban DVD sets of old cartoons.

Dirk PraetJanuary 8, 2013 5:40 PM

It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak.

These guys seem to be smarter than what the average TSA officer is given credit for. Then again - and as pointed out by @LinkTheValiant - the obvious move would have been to chip the cat with a micro tracker device that would have led them straight to both origin and destination.

Not only farmers and criminals use animals to do their bidding. Some military programs include dolphin spies (U.S. Navy), bomb-sniffing bees, terrorist-detecting gerbils (MI5), anti-tank dogs (USSR), insect cyborgs (U.S. DoD), the above mentioned Accoustic Kitty project (CIA), messenger pigeons (US/UK, WWII), leg-cuffing sea lions (U.S. Navy) and the (failed) US bat bombers program (Japan, WWII).

The UK even has the PDSA Dickin Medal, instituted in 1943, to honour the work of animals in war. As of October 2012, the Dickin Medal has been awarded 64 times, mostly to pigeons and dogs, but also to horses and even a cat.

SteveJanuary 8, 2013 5:47 PM

Cellphone, drills, small saws?
Sounds like the local carpenter. The Other contraband probably included nails and glue. Some dude who builds stuff for other prisoners. Lets kick his ass!!!

0xCEDJanuary 8, 2013 6:38 PM

"It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak."

Could just go thought the probably suspects cells with a hand vac with coffee filter collection bags -- one per cell. Then look for cat hair.

No OneJanuary 9, 2013 9:38 AM

@Dirk Praet, re: Soviet anti-tank dogs -- It's a sad story considering how many dogs were sacrificed in the failed program, but excepting that, it's a series of hilarious failures (like most animal war programs). I suggest everyone read the Wikipedia article on it.

AndrewJanuary 10, 2013 10:53 AM

I'm surprised the cat would put up with this, just image the ordeal of pulling the tape off its hairy body. That should alert the guards!

"a cellphone, drills, small saws and other contraband taped to its body" That's one big and healthy kitty

The things cats will do for catnip these days ...

John HenryJanuary 13, 2013 8:31 PM

"If that cat could talk what tales he tell
About Della and the dealer and the dog as well,
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumbling word"

Hoyt Axton

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