The Birman with distinctive coloring and sapphire blue eyes had the good fortune to be cat-sat by the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. He was candid about then stealing her from his friend, saying “Choupette would not return to him.” She became the most famous cat.
Chou is French for “cabbage,” but more colloquially, “mon petit chou” translates affectionately to darling or sweetheart and Choupette is sweetie. Following Lagerfeld’s recent death, it has been widely reported that she received a significant inheritance. While pet trusts are more commonly created for dogs (for example, Leona Hemsley’s Maltese, Trouble), they can provide for beloved cats as well.
Lagerfeld hired several maids to provide Choupette round-the-clock care. They also documented her activities and mood in a journal. She would eat at the table with him, because he believed she did not like eating on the floor.
She was still a cat. Lagerfeld told Harper’s Bazaar, “She likes strange toys … she plays with pieces of wood, pieces of paper, shopping bags. She loves shopping bags.” Any cat owner can probably relate after finding that an empty box provides more enjoyment than many store-bought toys.
While few cats enjoy Choupette’s lifestyle, owners everywhere are similarly fond of their furry friends. Cats have lived with us as pets since the ancient Egyptians. The Birman, the Sacred Cat of Burma, even makes it into legend for helping a dying owner meet the gaze of a goddess, after which she turned its eyes sapphire blue.
And it is no longer only famous cats who have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Choupette has more than 215,000 Instagram followers and used her Twitter account @ChoupettesDiary to mourn the loss of her daddy and thank people for sharing their condolences. Who is now typing her tweets, though? Her owner probably left instructions to a trustee.
Pet care and ongoing expenses
A cat (or dog) cannot inherit directly, but you can set aside funds for ongoing expenses in a pet trust. In our January blog post, we provided Colorado-specific legal details.
One key consideration is deciding who you would like to care for your fur ball. You can leave this and other special instructions to the trustee, who may or may not be the same person. Details about a preferred veterinarian and food (e.g., she or he prefers fish-flavored food) are also helpful.
If Choupette could talk, she would likely ask cat owners to think about the future. Shelters have a difficult time placing middle-aged and older felines. Have a plan – it doesn’t have to include continued access to a private jet.