A 4-year-old stray cat has become a multi-millionaire after the death of his wealthy widow owner.
Maria Assunta, widow of an Italian property tycoon, died two weeks ago at 94 leaving her entire estate to her kitten, Tommaso.
According to The Daily Telegraph, she had left her $13 million estate to Tommaso in 1999 as she began growing ill.
Assunta asked her lawyers to search for a suitable animal welfare organization to care for the cat she once rescued. When Assunta couldn’t find an association she found suitable, she decided to still leave all of her money to the cat via her nurse.
The nurse, who was only identified as “Stefania,” for fear of potential kidnappers, told The Telegraph she had no idea Assunta was that wealthy.
"The old lady suffered from loneliness," Stefania said. "She looked after that cat more than you'd look after a son.
"I promised her that I would look after the cat when she was no longer around. She wanted to be sure that Tommaso would be loved and cuddled. But I never imagined that she had this sort of wealth," she said. "She was very discreet and quite. I knew very little of her private life. She only told me that she had suffered from loneliness a lot."
Assunta’s lawyers have said the elderly woman had developed affection for her nurse and how she cared for both her and the cat.
The cat’s fortune includes cash, and properties in Rome, Milan and in Calabria.
Tommaso joins a list of other wealthy pets. Kalu the chimp’s owner left him a sum of $80 million and top dog Gunther IV, a German shepherd inherited $372 million from his father, Gunther III, who was owned by an eccentric German countess.
New York Real estate mogul Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog Trouble. Her family challenged the will and Trouble ended up with $2 million.