While Julian Assange is being dealt with by authorities in London after being dragged from a cramped corner room at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, questions are now being asked as to what has happened to his cat.
The cat, called James, was the Wikileaks founder’s only constant companion over the past seven years during his time at the embassy.
Julian Assange’s cat could regularly be seen at the window of the embassy wearing little ties
The fury feline had its own Twitter and Instagram pages controlled by Assange, pictured left
Julian Assange got the cat early on in his stay at the embassy when it was still just a kitten
Julian Assange’s cat is pictured wearing a tie and collar, left. A woman photographs the cat on a window sill outside the Equadorean Embassy in Knightsbridge, right
The cat would open have pictured posted with a political message somewhere close by
Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson held a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday. The cat could be seen in this image
The furry friend was a fixture at the embassy and apparently used to like to jump on Christmas tree ornaments and sit on the window sills, according to The Independent.
Quite apart from Assange’s own fate, many online have also pondered how the cat might fare.
‘Is Julian Assange’s cat going to be okay though?’ one person asked.
‘I do hope that someone looks after his cat, who must be very confused about all this,’ another said.
Although it remains unclear what has happened to the furry feline, a number of sources have reported the animal left the place a long time ago and was no longer in residence.
La Republica, an Italian newspaper, reported last year that the cat was gone for good.
At one stage embassy staff had to tell him to look after and clean up after his pet
Staff at the embassy say the cat had not been living there for some time. This photo was taken as the cat sat on the balcony of the embassy in July 2018
The author of the piece who had visited Assange for a story wrote: ‘Not even the cat is there anymore … Assange has preferred to spare the cat an isolation which has become unbearable and allow it a healthier life.’
A Russian news agency, Sputnik News, also contacted the Ecuadoran embassy who confirmed the cat disappeared months ago.
‘It is not here since September, I think,’ the official told Sputnik. ‘It was taken by Mr Assange’s associates a long ago. It is not here. We are not a pet store, so we do not keep pets here.’
A former employee of WikiLeaks, James Ball, said that the embassy gave the cat to a shelter ‘ages ago’.
It is believed the cat was either given to a shelter or is now with a friend of the family
At one stage, Assange thought the cat would be good publicity and help with his ‘image’
Julian Assange’s cat sits in the window of Ecuador’s embassy, pictures in November 2016
Photographers would often take pictures of a cat in the window of the flat at the Embassy of Ecuador. This photo was taken in May 2017
Meanwhile, a member of Assange’s legal team has claimed that a family member is looking after the kitty after the Ecuadoran embassy threatened to take the pet to a shelter.
‘Ecuador threatened to put Assange’s cat in the pound,’ said Hanna Jonasson in a tweet. ‘Incensed at the threat, he asked his lawyers to take his cat to safety. The cat is with Assange’s family. They will be reunited in freedom.’
Last year, the Ecuadoran embassy instructed Assange to look after his room better – to clean his bathroom and take better care of his cat or risk losing it.
Like so many other tabby cats, Assange’s cat found there was often nothing better than curling up by the window and watching the world go by
John Bradshaw, a cat expert, says wherever that cat is now, it is likely in a far happier place than being with Assange.
‘It seems quite possible that the cat may not have been particularly attached to Mr Assange anyway,’ Bradshaw told The Washington Post. ‘If it’s already been moved, I would guess that it is missing the Embassy more than it misses him.’
Bradshaw advises the new owners to keep the cat inside as it grew up inside the embassy. The worry would be that if allowed to roam, it would try and make a return to its former home.
‘It will probably try to get back to Knightsbridge and likely fall foul of the traffic,’ Bradshaw noted.
Wherever the cat is now, it is likely in a far happier place than being with Assange