Owner leaves $13 million fortune to a former stray cat she adopted in Rome

A former stray cat lived an experience worthy of a classic fairy tale. Overnight, little Tommaso had a dramatic shift in the course of his life when a wealthy woman rescued him and later made him an ‘heir.’

Tommaso, like many cats in Rome, Italia, was forced to fend for himself on the streets of the eternal city. The four-year-old kitty lived a stray life until he came upon an older woman who took him in as her pet.

Maria Assunta was a very affluent woman. The woman’s late husband made his name as a property entrepreneur.

Since the well-off widow didn’t have children, she suffered from loneliness in her old age. Maria’s nurse declared:

“She looked after that cat more than you’d look after a son.”

With Maria Assunta’s health slowly degrading, the wealthy widow started thinking about ensuring that Tommaso still received proper care after her inevitable passing.

In November 2009, she concluded that she needed to make provisions in her will for her cat. However, Italian law doesn’t allow cats to inherit fortune directly, yet they can be beneficiaries.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Assunta asked her attorneys to choose an animal welfare organization or group to whom to leave the inheritance and the responsibility of care after Tommaso.

Tommaso, the cat heir to a fortune

As the lawyers couldn’t find a plausible alternative for their client, Maria Assunta chose another method. During her long illness, a nurse named Stefania cared for the elderly lady.

Anna Orecchioni, one of the lawyers, explained to newspapers that Maria Assunta had become very fond of the nurse.

 Thus, Tommaso’s owner preferred to give all of her thirteen million dollars estate to her cat Tommaso under Stefania’s guardianship in the hopes that he would be loved and properly cared for.

Stefania, who had no idea her patient was this wealthy, declared to the media:

“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.”

Maria Assunta ultimately passed away in 2011 at 94, making Tommaso the wealthiest cat in the world. Besides cash, his wealth includes real estate in Rome and Milan, plus a plot of land in Calabria.

The black cat is now considered an aristocrat in Italy. His assets in real estate are widespread across the nation.

Like Tommaso, few cats inherited immense wealth from their owners. This makes him part of a very select group.

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