Julian Assange of WikiLeaks gave up his freedom to lead a lonely existence holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and now he's given up his cute cat companion as well.
The WikiLeaks founder faces outstanding charges of bail-jumping and possible extradition to the United States if he leaves the protection of the embassy, which is why he's been there for the past six years. In that time he's acquired a companion: a gray and white tabby kitten who goes by the name “embassycat” on Instagram, where he (or she) has over 5,000 followers.
“I live in the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange,” states the header at embassycat's front page, adding that he's “Interested in counter-purrveillance.” Journalists from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica have visited Assange annually since he was granted asylum at the embassy and mention the cat's presence “diffused tension” for Assange. Indeed, some of the 66 photos posted to embassycat's Instagram account illustrate the affection he held for the cat.
Unfortunately, this arrangement was too good to last. Ecuadorian authorities have grown tired of Assange's presence and want him to find other living arrangements, pronto. To force him out, visitors have been severely restricted and his internet connection has been cut off... no more posting cat pics for you, Julian. As such, the cat has been given its freedom.
“Assange preferred to spare the cat an isolation which has become unbearable and allow it a healthier life,” explains one of La Repubblica's reporters. How long before Assange himself follows... and is a reunion in the cards? Only time (or perhaps, Robert Mueller) will tell. (via The Daily Beast)