After WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested at London’s Ecuadorian Embassy this week, many found themselves asking the question: “What about his cat?” The organisation’s Twitter has now confirmed the cat, who was often pictured sporting a little tie, is safe.
The cat, the cat made major headlines in the days following Assange’s arrest.
What happened to Julian Assange's cat? https://t.co/vBR5dZxP7U— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 12, 2019
The mystery of Julian Assange’s cat: Where will it go? What does it know? https://t.co/nPKqXf6if9— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 12, 2019
Assange, who had lived at the embassy for almost seven years, told reporters the cat was a gift from his children in 2016.
On Instagram and Twitter, his name is Embassy Cat or, as Assange told The New Yorker in 2017: “It’s Michi, which is Ecuadorian for ‘cat’ … “When [Fidel] Castro died, we started calling it Cat-stro.”
Embassy Cat has a combined following of about 40,000 people on social media.
“We can confirm that Assange’s cat is safe,” WikiLeaks tweeted. “Assange asked his lawyers to rescue him from embassy threats in mid-October. They will be reunited in freedom.”
They attached a video of Embassy Cat watching Assange’s arrest.
We can confirm that Assange's cat is safe. Assange asked his lawyers to rescue him from embassy threats in mid-October. They will be reunited in freedom. #FreeAssange #NoExtradition pic.twitter.com/zSo8RfXXc9— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 13, 2019
In November of 2018, Italian newspaper la Repubblica reported that the cat was no longer living at the embassy.
Not even the cat is there anymore. With its funny striped tie and ambushes on the ornaments of the Christmas tree at the embassy’s entrance, the cat had helped defuse tension inside the building for years. But Assange has preferred to spare the cat an isolation which has become unbearable and allow it a healthier life.
Assange, 47, was arrested for “failing to surrender to the court” after a warrant was issued by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 June, 2012. He was found guilty of skipping bail and now faces up to 12 months in prison in relation to the 2012 charge. He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.