When Julian Assange dragged from the Ecuadoran embassy and arrested recently, the Washington Post asked the most important question, “What about his cat? Where will he go? What does he know?” Around the world, cat lovers had the same question.
Journalist James Ball tweeted that he had offered to adopt the cat, but the animal had been “reportedly given to a shelter by the Ecuadorian embassy ages ago.”
But in the face of the WikiLeaks’ founder’s arrest, the organization provided video evidence that the feline is alive and well, showing Michi watching the arrest on TV.
“We can confirm that Assange’s cat is safe,” WikiLeaks tweeted Saturday. “Assange asked his lawyers to rescue him from embassy threats in mid-October. They will be reunited in freedom.”
The cat–named Michi–built a social media presence as “Embassy Cat” and was photographed through an embassy window wearing a tie on multiple occasions.
But before you get all warm and fuzzy over Assange as a cat lover, know this: he kinda sucked as a cat parent.
The embassy was fed up with Assange because among other things (cited in a 9-page list of grievances which included walking around the embassy in his underwear), Assange failed to clean Michi’s litter box, was lax in feeding the cat, and at one point had smeared the cat’s feces on the wall.
The New Yorker reported in 2017 that Assange’s interest in the cat was less as an animal lover and more as a master of his own brand:
“Julian stared at the cat for about half an hour, trying to figure out how it could be useful, and then came up with this: Yeah, let’s say it’s from my children,” the magazine quoted one of Assange’s friends as saying. “For a time, he said it didn’t have a name because there was a competition in Ecuador, with schoolchildren, on what to name him. Everything is P.R.—everything.”
So it appears that even if the earlier report that the embassy had taken Michi to a shelter was true, he’d be in a much happier place now. Good luck, Embassy Cat!