Once a stray, this cat’s worth $13 million
With the death of his owner Maria Assunta, who took him in off the streets, Tommasino inherits, kind of, her $13.3 milliion fortune.
Assunta, the childless widow of a wealthy builder, initially tried to find an animal welfare association that would take care of the cat after her death, the Telegraph reports.
But none, in her view, provided adequate assurances for his future, according to her lawyer.
Instead, Assunta — 94 when she died last month — bequeathed her entire estate to Tomassino, and appointed a fellow cat lover as a trustee. The millionaire cat is now living at an undisclosed location outside Rome with that trustee, who is being identified only as “Stefania.”
Under Italian law, animals cannot inherit directly, but can be named beneficiaries once a trustee is found.
According to news reports, Assunta met Stefania in a park, and sometimes the two got their cats together for play dates. Stefania, a nurse, also went on to help take care of Assunta.
“She was very discreet and quite, I knew very little of her private life,” Stefania said.
“I promised her that I would look after the cat when she was no longer around. She wanted to be sure that (he) would be loved and cuddled.”
The Telegraph reports that only two other animals have inherited more money than Tommasino.
The world’s richest animal is believed to be Gunter, a German shepherd who was left $138 million by heiress Karlotta Liebenstien. Kalu, a chimpanzee, was the beneficiary of $61 million bequeathed by Patricia O’Neill, wife of former Australian swimming champion Frank O’Neill.
(Photo: That’s Tommasino at the bottom; Sky News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bequeathed, cat, estate, inheritance, inherited, inherits, italy, maria assunta, millionaire, pets, richest, rome, stefania, stray, tommasino, trustee, wealth, will