Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Petsitting Can Bring In the Big Bucks!

Yesterday's announcement of the death of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, 85,of  pancreatic cancer, came as a surprise, especially the amount of coverage his cat Choupette (Cupcake) received in the ensuing headlines.

Lagerfeld had stated that he wanted his ashes mingled with Choupette's for disposal.  Whichever - man or cat - died first the ashes were to be set aside, waiting for the other. When Lagerfeld, Choupette have all gone to their maker, their ashes will be mixed with those of Lagerfeld's previous most adored lover.  (Aside:  he much preferred hired services, remarking that affection was more important and averred that he and the dead (of AIDs) lover never engaged in sex.)

It is expected that she will inherit some of Lagerfeld's estimated fortune of $150 million.  She already has two personal maids and routinely went everywhere that Karl did.  But she wasn't a dead beat (as most cats are) as she "earned" (used dubiously) $3.3 million doing commercials for Vauxhall (cars) and Shu Uemura, a Japanese line of beauty products.

What is it with fashion designers and their pets?  Alexander McQueen, British fashion genius, left $82,000 to his three English bull terriers plus an additional $164,000 to a pair of animal shelters.

Leona Helmsley, the owner of the soubriquet "The Queen of Mean" clearly felt that animals understood her better than people and left her Maltese "Trouble" $12 million.  Who promptly got so many death threats that part of this inheritance had to go for round the clock security.

Oprah Winfrey has earmarked $30 million to her five dogs.

Reportedly, beloved Betty White, 96, set aside $5 million mostly for her pet golden Lab.

Miles Blackwell, a publisher, left $15 million to his pet chicken hen Gigoo but only because his wife to whom he had previously  left the $15 mil died before he did.  It is not true that in return and respect, Gigoo now turns out solid gold eggs.

When Gene Roddenberry, of Star Trek's widow died,  she left $4 million for their pets and $1 million for their caretaker to stay on in the mansion.

In fact, most of the insanely rich people also specified that the caretaker at the time of their demise should move into the mansion(s) to take care of the pets as they are accustomed to being there.

For our part, in a much more modest fashion, we have it in our wills that if we have cats at the time of our death, the Hermosa Animal Hospital - clients for 30 years now - will receive $1,000 to be used as they wish if they will make every effort to find a new good owner.  If none is found, that they live on as blood donors at the hospital.  (Of note, HAH always have a couple of blood donor cats roaming around and they are spoiled by everyone on staff.)  If they're older cats with the beginnings of the disease(s) that will kill them, euthanize them now.

This is an easy enough thing to do and I recommend it.  Especially if every one of your heirs cannot (or will not) take them. And at our ages, (late '70s) with previous cats that lived an average 15.6 years we have no business getting any replacement cats.  Streak is 16 and Fred is five so, Fred, you're it!

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