Aged 59, British singer Dusty Springfield died in 1999. Of “Son of a Preacher Man” fame Springfield made headlines when it became known that she had named her cat, Nicholas, a beneficiary of her will. While the extent of the bequest was not known, the singer left strict instructions as to how her 13-year-old California ragdoll was to be cared for. The will stated that Nicholas must be fed specially imported American baby food, live in a 7-foot high indoor tree house, and “marry” a 5-year-old English blue breed.
American author, Ellen Frey-Wouters is among those whose cats inherited money after their death. Out of her $3-million estate the New York native bequeathed $300,000 to her cats, Troy and Tiger. Two of the author’s former health aides now care for the cats by use of a trust fund, which reimburses them after submitting purchases made for the felines.
In 2005 a reclusive bachelor left his fortune to his cat, Red. David Harper of Canada—who died at the age of 79—left his entire estate to his ginger tabby cat. While the reported $1.3 million estate was officially left to the United Church of Canada the fortune comes to them in the form of an $80 a month that provides for Red’s care, feeding, and veterinary bills.
Guinness World Records holder until 2018, Blackie earned a $12.5 million inheritance at the time of his owner’s demise. Ben Rea was a British antiques dealer and recluse who lived with 15 cats. Instead of remembering his family Rea split his fortune between the only surviving feline (Blackie), and three cat charities who were tasked with the cat’s care.
Perhaps one of the more recent cases is that of a Burmese named Choupette. Companion of the late Karl Lagerfeld the cat inherited part of Lagerfeld’s multimillion-dollar estate upon the Chanel’s designer’s death. Incidentally the “pampered pussy” has over 286,000 followers on Instagram with a massive 119,184 likes alone for Choupette’s post—complete with mourning veil—for her beloved “Daddy Lagerfeld”.
Astounding as it might seem, Choupette is not the wealthiest feline in either history nor the world. A black Italian cat named Tommaso inherited his 94-year-old owner’s entire estate after her death in 2011. The massive portfolio of widow, Maria Assunta, was valued at over $13 million and includes properties in multiple countries. While laws in Italy prevent the former stray from inheriting the fortune directly his nurse known only as, ‘Stefania’, was named trustee for the feline and his millions.