Cat traits

Emily Anthes, author of ?Frankenstein?s Cat,? shared this interested little tidbit with reporters for Discovery News.  In the 1960s, the CIA tried to develop a new spy program called ?Operation Acoustic Kitty.?  The poor cat must have been absolutely devoted to its country to have a microphone implanted in its ear, a transmitter in its skull, and wired head to toe to capture top secret communications from the enemy.  The plan was to teach the cat to casually curl up by the target and look as inconspicuous as possible while listening in on official business.  As you can tell, this plan was riddled with problems, the least of which was making sure the equipment was working properly.  Unfortunately, Acoustic Kitty never got to serve his country.  He was turned into road kill before his first mission when a taxi plowed into him as he crossed the street to the park.  It was a very sad moment in our country?s history?sad to think our CIA would believe they could pull off such a hair brain plot.  It?s scary to think these are the people we trust to protect us.

We?ve benefited from our relationships with cats for thousands of years, and now they want to know what?s in it for them.  Well, IF YOU?RE A CAT YOU CAN?Inherit a fortune.

Some of the richest in the world are not even capable of spending their own money or managing their estates.  Why?  It seems they are cats.  We all know that cats do prefer the finer things in life.  They wheedle their way into our hearts and practice being perfectly adorable, all to ensure they are well cared for should the human they own pass away.  Instead of believing our cute little cuddlies have manipulated us into the grave, we humans prefer to believe our extremely intelligent cats have done an excellent job preparing for their constant state of retirement.  Stray kitties are the most resourceful, having learned how to prowl the richest neighborhoods, choose the largest and best kept homes, and then play pitiful at every door and window until one of the unsuspecting residents invites them in for a brief bite of food and a sleepover.  The next thing you know, you?re signing over the deed and naming Lola the cat as your new beneficiary.

One can understand how this tends to isolate them from the other less fortunate strays in the neighborhood, like the owner?s family members who had also been counting on a sizeable inheritance.  Who knew they would be one-upped by a cat?  To make matters worse, many of the ones who expected a windfall of cash and property are now left to care for ?king cat.?  Every day the hopeful family members dish out rich kitty?s food, scoop up his droppings, and try to ignore his snide meows as they meet in the west wing to plan his demise.

It doesn?t always turn out this way, though.  One lucky nurse in Rome was long-time caregiver to an elderly woman named Maria Assunta.  Both Maria and her nurse fell in love with Tommaso.  Tommaso was no ordinary male; he was a four-year-old strapping stray cat who charmed the old wealthy woman into giving him her entire fortune.   Maria had amassed an amazing estate which included properties in Milan and Rome, well-positioned land in Calabria, and enough money to choke a horse?but not a cat, of course.  Her estimated worth was $13 million, which transformed Tammaso into one fat cat.  The caregiver was also handsomely rewarded for her devotion to Tommaso, and it is reported they are both now living in an undisclosed Italian villa happily counting their cash and sardines.     

A black tomcat named Tinker has also earned a position as one of the richest cats in the world.  When Margaret Layne went to her mansion in the sky, Tinker took over her $800,000 home here on earth, as well as inheriting a trust to equal a whopping $226,000.  Although Tinker had lost his beloved owner, the neighbors were awarded a great deal of money for his care.  In exchange for the neighbors? devotion and diligence, Tinker agreed to allow them to feed and entertain him for the remainder of his life.  So, if you?re tempted to squirt the cat next door with the hose for digging in your garden and scratching your lawn chairs, think again.  You just might be insulting   your potential inheritance provider.

Then there was David Harper, a well-established gentleman who left his orange tabby, Red a tidy sum.  Actually, the United Church of Canada indirectly benefited as caregivers, which enabled Red to avoid any inheritance tax or the task of acquiring a paw full of financial planners and attorneys to help him manage his funds.  For the rest of his days, you might say Red was as happy as a church mouse?no pun intended.

It?s easy to see why most cats haven?t a worry in the world.  IF YOU?RE A CAT YOU CAN?