British authorities arrested Julian Assange and his beard on Thursday, hauling the shrieking WikiLeaks founder from his hideout in Ecuador’s London Embassy and opening the door for the U.S. government to charge him with one (1) count of conspiracy to hack a computer. Having harbored Assange for nearly seven years — he arrived at the Embassy in June 2012, fleeing a rape investigation in Sweden — Ecuador finally gave him the boot over his “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.” According to Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, Assange acted like a “spoiled brat” during his stay, a house guest bad enough that the South American country’s leaders have vowed never again to extend hospitality to “miserable hackers whose only goal is to destabilize governments.”
Though Lenin did not explicitly say so, we know that Assange’s cat — a feline with many names, including “Michi” (Ecuadorian for “cat”), James, Cat-stro, and Embassy Cat, the last of which we will use for the purposes of this article — proved a point of contention. Assange acquired his hostage, a beautiful beast of murky origins, as a kitten in May 2016. Since then, the Embassy harangued Assange for his failure to provide for Embassy Cat’s “well-being, food, and hygiene.” If Assange refused to step up, the Embassy warned, it would re-home his pet with a more responsible owner.
Since Assange’s formal ouster, the public has wondered: What happened to Embassy Cat? The Washington Post reports that Ecuador transferred Embassy Cat to another post months ago, yet questions linger. Namely, Where is this poor creature, and is it okay? Is it in safer, more attentive hands now, and please, whose hands might those be?
If you’re out there, Embassy Cat, please send us a sign to let us know everything is fine. In the meantime, we will remember you as you were: A handsome innocent who never asked for any of this.
Big feet, big dreams, small captive to an international fugitive:
This one was taken on May 9, 2016, reportedly Embassy Cat’s first day in captivity. Assange has told the press that his children gifted him Embassy Cat, although a source close to him provided The New Yorker with a more insidious backstory that does not actually explain how Embassy Cat made it into the Embassy to begin with:
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. 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.
Despite unsavory circumstances, Embassy Cat persisted.
Embassy Cat found ways to keep itself and his more than 30,000 followers entertained, despite living under the tyranny of a man apparently determined to use it as a publicity vehicle.
Embassy Cat learned new skills.
Covert-opps skills, balaclava-wearing skills.
In spite of incriminating appearances — and I can’t emphasize this enough — Embassy Cat was not complicit.
Embassy Cat deserved more.
But still managed to charm celebs with its kittenish wiles.
As Embassy Cat crept toward his teenage years, his human started making him wear ties — perhaps to underline encroaching maturity, perhaps for a more sinister purpose.
A few months into their cohabitation, Assange began dressing up Embassy Cat for Important Meetings, outfitting him in a series of dapper ties.
At first, this was fun, because doesn’t Embassy Cat look dapper?
(There is only one answer to that question: Yes.)
But then you have to wonder why a person would put their cat in a tie, a constraint many humans and certainly most cats dislike, and then you get to questioning the timing of it all: Did Assange force Embassy Cat into costume on the same day Swedish prosecutors visited him in November 2016 in an attempt to distract from the aforementioned rape case? Definitely, maybe.
Every rose has its thorn, and Embassy Cat’s seems to have been Assange.
Justice for Embassy Cat.
We hope you’re in a better place now.
Living a quiet life with better owners who don’t use you as a publicity prop, and not dead. To clarify.