Julian Assange’s cat at the Ecuadorian embassy is agoraphobic because she has been confined since she was 10 weeks of age at the embassy. She’s been there since May 2016, I believe.
In an interview published on November 7, 2018 with Stephania Maurizi of Real Independent News & Film, Assange was asked whether his cat had ever tried to escape the embassy. I thought that was a cool question because Julian Assange is a voluntary prisoner at the embassy but his cat isn’t. It was a light-hearted question with the intention of receiving a light-hearted response but Julian Assange answered seriously.
He said, with a touch of emotion, that when she was small she had made some attempts to escape from the embassy. However, as she has grown up and become accustomed to being confined to quite a small space she has, in my words, become agoraphobic.
This is my assessment because he said that he tried to give the cat away to some close friends in order that she could enjoy a normal life with freedoms. However she showed a distinct fear of wide-open spaces, which is why she remains at the embassy with her owner, the WikiLeaks founder. I wonder if that was a wise choice. For felines this condition can be cured gradually with a slow introduction to more space.
Domestic cats can suffer from agoraphobia. It applies almost exclusively to full-time indoor cats who when presented with the chance to walk out of the home in which they are confined refuse to do so.
Agoraphobia is not only about anxiety of open spaces. It is more particularly a fear of certain places or situations which might cause the human or animal to feel anxious. It appears that it can overlap with claustrophobia as agoraphobic’s can feel trapped when travelling away from safe places.
I am not sure of the cat’s name. It might be Michi meaning ‘cat’ in Ecuadorian Spanish.