Cat Accused of Wiping U.S. Veteran Affairs Server After Jumping on Keyboard

Most cats love curling up on a good keyboard while you’re trying to work. Oftentimes, this doesn’t result in a service interruption across an entire government department.

A four-hour system interruption back in September 2023 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, was caused by a cat jumping on a technician’s keyboard.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs holds regular weekday calls with its CIO, during which recent IT problems are often reviewed. Around 100 people varying from contractors to vendors and other employees participate in these calls.

During one such call, one of the participants explained that while a technician was reviewing the configuration of a server cluster, their curious cat jumped on the keyboard and deleted it, causing the system interruption that lasted four hours.

Kurt DelBene, assistant secretary for information and technology and CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is reported to have responded with: “This is why I have a dog.” Although, there are some dogs out there that love a good cuddle.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes released a statement following the incident: “On September 13, 2023, the Kansas City VAMC [Veterans Affairs Medical Center] experienced an issue with image transfer within Vista due to an inadvertent deletion of server profiles. The issue was quickly identified and the system restored within four hours. There have been no further issues or direct impacts to veterans from this incident.”