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World’s Richest Cat?

World’s Richest Cat?

Leaving multimillion dollar estates to pets is becoming increasingly common around the world. Last year, a 94-year old Italian heiress passed away and left her entire $13 million fortune to her cat, Tommaso. The heiress, Maria Assunta, was widowed and childless when she adopted Tommaso, a flea-ridden stray cat roaming the streets of Rome.

In gratitude, Tommaso became her loving and devoted companion. Thus, when Ms. Assunta died, she apparently felt Tommaso deserved her entire estate. Italian law, however, forbids passing on one’s wealth directly to an animal, so Ms. Assunta named her nurse, friend and fellow cat lover, the trusted overseer of Tommaso’s care and estate.

Now the nurse and Tommaso live with another cat in the Roman countryside, in an undisclosed location, in order to avoid fortune hunters and con-men.

I have mixed feelings about this growing trend to leave obscene amounts of money to one or two pets. If someone wants to leave a trust to ensure their pet’s welfare after their own death, that is not only entirely understandable, it is also responsible. But to leave millions? Ridiculous. Especially when so many animals — and people — suffer from a lack of resources and proper care.

What do you think? Do you plan to leave a trust for your pet? Do you think it should be legal to leave vast sums of money to one animal?

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Caregiving, Cats, Celebrities, Do Good, Family, Feline Muse, Life, Make a Difference, Money, Pet Health, Pets, , , , , , , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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8:46AM PDT on Jul 1, 2013

Thank you. It's kind of crazy but it's their money so they can do whatever they want. It's the way they show their love to their beloved companion/companions. If me I wouldn't do it but I understand why they did it.

5:39AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

9:00AM PDT on May 22, 2013

I hope the nurse and Tommaso use the fortune wisely and do some good with the money. People should decide for themselves what happens with their fortune when their death.

8:21AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:54PM PDT on May 20, 2013

i think it's crazy...

11:27PM PDT on May 11, 2013

I have already planned an investment which will fund the care of stray animals ... especially their cremation/burial.

I trust the lady (the heiress' companion/nurse) would be able to use the fortune wisely. It is really up to each individual to decide what they want to do with their money.

2:51PM PDT on May 11, 2013


7:46PM PDT on May 10, 2013

am agreeing with FIONA D. - BIG TIME u right

7:43PM PDT on May 10, 2013

very lucky cat. i plan to give my house money to all the charities , split it up. for the animals

1:25PM PDT on May 10, 2013

As for me, I plan leave some money for my pets in sad case if I die :) I feel myself responsible, and I have to care for them even after this life. At least I think so.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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