What happened to Julian Assange's cat, his only companion at the Ecuadorian embassy
Several outlets have claimed the cat was gone several months ago, while others have said it has since been adopted by the international fugitive's close associate
During his seven years in asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange spent almost all his time in solitude. However, the self-styled political refugee had one consistent companion throughout his stay — a cat he adopted in 2016, who went on to gain worldwide fame on social media.
Now, fans of the "Embassy Cat" are wondering what will become of it in the wake of its master's arrest, especially since the cat's Instagram bio quipped "interested in counter-purrveillance?"
Speaking to People, a friend of Assange reportedly said the cat will now "be looked after by friends" after it was 'adored and looked after extremely well" by its previous master.
However, no one is really sure what happened to the feline. Journalist James Ball tweeted on Thursday that the cat "was reportedly given to a shelter by the Ecuadorian embassy ages ago", while La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, reported in November that Assange had given it up "to spare the cat isolation which has become unbearable and allow it a healthier life."
The "Embassy Cat" has raised concerns among tens of thousands of its fans on social media, who grew intimate with the indisputably adorable pet after watching it frequently crawl along the notorious whistleblower's shoulder and sitting alongside him as he met with visitors. Regardless of what one thinks of the Wikileaks founder after he took asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, his pet undeniably won hearts on social media and soon became an internet sensation.
It was obvious that the feline's social media presence, who was lovingly called Michi or Cat-stro by Assange, was an extension of his politics. While one may criticize him for using his pet to promote causes, the strategy definitely worked.
Not much is known about the cat's whereabouts now. However, several reports in recent months suggested it had left the embassy building months ago.
On the other hand, Sputnik, a Russian backed news agency, claimed the pet was adopted by an associate of the international fugitive in September last year.
In 2018, the Ecuadorean government reportedly delivered a set of house rules to Assange, urging him to clean his bathroom and take better care of his cat. They also instructed him to look after Michi's "well-being, food and hygiene", threatening to send her to an animal shelter if he did not comply with their request.
If reports of Assange ill-treating his sole companion are given any credence, the bow-tie-sporting feline is likely happier in its current establishment. In a conversation with The Washington Post, pet scholar and expert John Bradshaw said, "It seems quite possible that the cat may not have been particularly attached to Assange anyway. If it's already been moved, I would guess that it is missing the Embassy more than it misses him."
The "Embassy Cat" Instagram account had furnished a series of creative puns since its first post in May 2016. The pet frequently greeted its followers a good "Meow-ning" and sought "purrfection" in everything, drinking "Meow-lk" occasionally. But sadly, the account has not seen a new upload since March 2017, and its Twitter has not been active since March 2018.
Julian Assange's widely respected buddy was purportedly a fixture at the Embassy and had a penchant for pouncing on ornaments over a Christmas tree. Among its more professional duties, one was calming the tension between the Wikileaks founder and several world leaders who sought to meet with him in secrecy.