Entertainment & Arts

Karl Lagerfeld: Designer's cat Choupette 'named in his will'

Karl Lagerfeld Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Lagerfeld poses next to a painting of Choupette

It has emerged that the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has left some of his $200m (£153m) fortune to his cat.

The German designer, who was the creative director for Chanel and Fendi, died in Paris on Tuesday.

The designer became a devoted cat owner and lavished attention on his pet after Choupette was given to him in 2012.

Lagerfeld told French magazine Numero last year that he had named the birman cat as one of the heirs of his estate.

In the interview, he said Choupette was in his will, "among others". But he added: "Don't worry, there is enough for everyone."

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Models of Lagerfeld holding Choupette were displayed at the opening of the first Karl Lagerfeld concept store in Germany

Choupette already has a substantial fortune to her name, having earned $3m (£2.3m) doing adverts for a German car firm and a Japanese cosmetics brand with Lagerfeld.

In a separate interview with Numero, Lagerfeld revealed he employed two maids to look after the pampered animal who, he said, has "four different dishes prepared for her" each day "served in fabulous bowls".

He also made Choupette a social media sensation, with her own Twitter and Instagram accounts that have a combined following of about 200,000.

A tribute to the designer was posted on the cat's Twitter account on Tuesday.

She is also the hero of a book, Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat, for which she was photographed in the arms of supermodel Linda Evangelista and snuggling with the model and actress Laetitia Casta.

The book includes recipes for her favourite meals prepared by some of the best restaurants in Paris.

One typically lavish meal is a mixture of king crab, smoked salmon and caviar.

Choupette's help was sometimes sought by those trying to persuade Lagerfeld to adopt their ideas.

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot wrote her a letter in 2015 asking her to "purr in the ear" of her owner so he would "stop using fur in his collections".

Chanel duly became the first major fashion house to go fur-free.

Pampered pets

Lagerfeld is not the only celebrity to want to make provision for their animals' welfare in their will.

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen left £50,000 in his £16m will so his dogs could be pampered for the rest of their lives.

Oprah Winfrey has reportedly made plans to leave around $30m (£23m) to her dogs.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michael Jackson's chimpanzee Bubbles was once dressed in identical outfits to his owner

But Bubbles, the chimpanzee once owned by the late singer Michael Jackson, was not so lucky.

When he grew into an adult and started showing signs of aggression, he was sent to an animal sanctuary. Once he'd been moved to the home, Jackson did not pay for Bubbles' upkeep.

The singer's estate now sends some money to the sanctuary in Florida where he is housed every year, but it reportedly does not cover all the costs of looking after him.

Bubbles has been earning his keep, though. Some of his artwork has been sold to raise money for the sanctuary.

Paws for thought: Five other famous felines

1. Larry, the Downing Street cat

Larry lives with the PM at Number 10, and is the Cabinet Office's chief mouser. He has his own Twitter account, which often passes comment on the issues of the day.

2. Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat

Not to be outdone, Palmerston also has his own Twitter account, and there's even a parody Twitter account, where he makes it clear that it is he - and not Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt - who is really in charge of proceedings.

3. Venus, the cat with two faces

In 2012, Venus was briefly the most famous feline on the planet when a YouTube video of the unusual tortoiseshell was viewed more than a million times. A rare quirk of her genes means she has two distinctly different sides to her face. One half is solid black with a green eye and the other half has tabby stripes and a blue eye.

4. Snoopybabe

Exotic short-hair Snoopybabe, or Snoop for short, hails from from Chengdu in China's Sichuan Province. The wide-eyed feline has amassed more the 300,000 Instagram followers.

5. Keyboard Cat

Fatso - AKA Keyboard Cat - passed away in 1987, but found posthumous fame as an internet meme. Fatso's owner Charles Schmidt uploaded a video, in which he was manipulated to look like he was playing a keyboard, to YouTube in 2007, and promptly broke the internet.

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