Since 2016 a cat called James has been spotted staring blankly from a window of the Ecuadorean embassy in London but by the time of Assange’s arrest on the 11th of April this year the animal had vanished.
Fighting lonliness with cat cuddles
‘James’ the cat was acquired by Assange after the 47-year-old fugitive complained to embassy staff about his feeling lonely and isolated. CNN reports that Assange was allowed a cat but would have to, ‘abide by new rules which included paying for and taking care of his cat’.
The cat was often spotted at one of the windows of the embassy in a collar and tie.
In 2012 Assange sought refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge after he lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault. It now looks likely that Swedish prosecutors will have another chance to question Assange, and the United States' government intends to try Assange for his part in the unauthorised publication of top secret documents in 2016.
In the mind of James the cat however the string of charges against his owner proved irrelevant. He was fed and watered, and was happy to share Assange’s self-enforced custody despite the inconvenience of his not being allowed playmates.
Where is he now?
James gave up public appearances in 2017 and a question of his whereabouts was raised. But the cat's disappearance may not be such a mystery after all. Shortly after Assange’s arrest author James Ball tweeted: ‘For the record: Julian Assange's cat was reportedly given to a shelter by the Ecuadorian embassy ages ago, so don't expect a feline extradition in the next few hours. (I genuinely offered to adopt it)’.