I warned her, but she wouldn’t listen. Great-Aunt Sophie sent her fake newspaper article, Julian Assange Humps Unborn Kittens, to a Tumblr blog of Julian Assange fanciers.
I was in at Sophie’s cooking supper when the phone rang. Gertie had read the blog.
“Now they’re accusing him of sex with kittens,” she cried.
We heard Maud’s voice in the background. “It’s satire, for fuck sake.”
Sophie put her hand over the speaker. “I sent it in under a pseudonym.”
“Our Jules loves kitties and puppy dogs,” whimpered Gertie.
“The wouldn’t let Nigel into the Embassy. Julian only likes mammals?” said Sophie.
“And marsupials. He had a Tasmanian bubbling wombat when he was little.”
“I decline to continue this conversation,” said Sophie, “Though that should not be construed as a sign of disrespect. Let me talk to Maud.”
I heard her mention Valium. She hung up the phone, went over to her desk, and sat down in front of her 27-inch Thunderbolt monitor.
When I came out of the kitchen she handed me a piece of paper.
ASSANGE SOLICITOR DENIES FELINE PHILANDERING
(1 May, 2012) Special to The Guardian. Supporters of Julian Assange today dismissed claims that the ex-hacker made unwanted sexual overtures towards a Siamese cat.
Robert Geofferson QC, adviser to Assange’s legal team, said the charges were preposterous and offensive. According to Geofferson, Ms. C_____ initiated the April, 2012 encounter by purring and rubbing against Mr. Assange’s ankles. “Some heavy petting may have occurred,” the London solicitor told the press, “But it was completely consensual.”
Maria Theresa Castaneda Mariachi, 24, head of the catering staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy, said there were no cats at the Knightsbridge flat where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up since 19 June. Sr. Assange maintains a cordial relationship with the Embassy’s guinea pigs, she said, although he does sometimes get their names mixed up.
Sr. Assange’s favourite, she told reporters, is a black and white shorthair called Hussein. “He is teaching to it to program with its nose, ” she said.
The Embassy had forty-two cobayos, said Sra. Castaneda, “But that was before dinner.”
Mr. Assange was unavailable for comment.