Tommassino was a stray cat when Maria Assunta took him home. When she died last month at the age of 94, Assunta left him $15 million – the entire family fortune.
Tommassino will be able to spread the inheritance around. His mom stipulated in the will that the money could be given to “a worthy animal association, if one could be found.”
But the money is all still with the one cat. The attorney executing the will said: “We had requests from several organizations but in the end we did not find any that we thought were suitable. Then earlier this year Maria told us about her nurse called Stefania who looked after her and who like her had a love of animals and in particular cats. In the end we decided that Stefania was the most suitable person to administer the money that Maria had left in her will.”
With hundreds of good cat sanctuaries in Italy, and thousands around Europe, one would hope Stefania will be able to dish out some of the funds.
Other wealthy pets
The world’s richest animal is thought to be Gunter, a German shepherd who received at least $5 million and maybe as much as $400 million, according to some reports, after Karlotta Liebenstien died and left him her fortune.
In 1988 British recluse Ben Rea left his fortune of $15 million to his cat, Blackie.
Leona Helmsley, the notorious Queen of Mean, left about $10 million to her dog, Trouble, also stipulating that the money could be disbursed to dog charities. But her family, the princes and princesses of mean, fought the will and managed to get their sticky paws on most of it.