Yesterday it was announced that Karl Lagerfeld and his unmatchable spirit left this world at 85 years old. While he doesn’t leave behind any children, he is survived by his surrogate child, Choupette, who has become a celebrity in her own right during the past seven and a half years. With her owner gone, though, Choupette’s high-maintenance lifestyle seems unlikely to change. Before his death, Lagerfeld revealed that Choupette “has her own little fortune, she’s an heiress” and that he would be leaving some of his estimated $170 million wealth to her, “among others.” So how much does Choupette stand to inherit, and what would it even look like if a cat was left millions?
While no numbers have been—or likely will be—disclosed, there is actually a precedent for pets being left millions by their deceased owners. With Lagerfeld’s net worth, it’s possible that Choupette could become the wealthiest cat, with the cat Tommaso trailing behind at a fortune of $13 million. (Her late owner was Maria Assunta, an Italian real estate investor, who left her net worth to her cat.) Incredibly, Choupette also has her own fortune to bring to the table: In 2015 alone, she raked in 3 million euros without e-commerce.
As Lagerfeld once explained of his prized possession, “Choupette belonged to a friend of mine who asked if my maid could take care of her for two weeks when he was away. When he came back, he was told that Choupette would not return to him. He got another cat who became fat, and Choupette became the most famous cat in the world, and the richest. She did two jobs and made 3 million euros last year. One was for cars in Germany and the other was for a Japanese beauty product. I don’t allow her to do foodstuffs and things like this. She’s too sophisticated for that.”
If Choupette is indeed left a large fortune, the money would be managed by three people if similar cases are anything to go by: a trustee at the top level, the caretaker who looks after Choupette, and an enforcer who oversees both people, per Vanity Fair.
Despite Choupette’s salary, she has a high cost of living. As Lagerfeld once said of it, “She has two personal maids. They play with her, they have to take care of her beautiful white hair, the beauty treatments for her eyes, and they entertain her. She is the center of the world.” Not to mention she’s well-accustomed to a private-jet lifestyle.
Don’t expect Choupette to reveal her inheritance, though, on her Instagram account, where she shares moments from her life. “My annual salary and net worth are none of your business unless it’s @forbes calling to put me on their next cover,” as she wrote on her seventh birthday. “Move over @kyliejenner!” While Jenner is in her own orbit, weirder things have happened than Choupette getting a Forbes cover.