Through pet trusts or other legal arraignments, pets these days often find themselves the benefactors to lavish fortunes. In extreme cases, pets end up owning millions under the careful supervision of special caretakers and trustees. Here are portraits of three famous animals who received much more than simple love and affection from their past owners.
Meet Gunther the Fourth, whose principal merit is one and only – he is an offspring of Gunther the Third, a pure blue blood German shepherd with proper European upbringing and a taste for aristocratic luxury: multiple chamber maids and chauffeurs. By virtue of his semi-royal pedigree, Gunther the Fourth inherited millions from his honorable father, Gunther the Third, who passed away soon after coming into the money himself.
Since then, the Junior’s estate has suspiciously tripled to the reported $373 million. But Junior’s tastes for lavish extravagance are only begging to unfold, and his purchase of a Miami villa from Madonna testifies to this Alsatian’s hedonistic chutzpah… In fact, Junior’s nouveau riche mannerisms should cause grave concerns in the Alsatian high society. Is Junior fully deserving of his “Gunther the Fourth” sobriquet, or is he a Prodigal Son without a return ticket? Is he a canine incarnation of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones who’d make Earl of Chesterfield’s blush?
Mystery lurks behind Gunther’s family history. As is often the case with high society’s wheel of fortune, a woman’s hand figures surreptitiously into the drama. Junior’s patrilineal gambit – his father’s death followed by Junior’s swift ascension to canine Olympus – has its matrimonial roots. The invisible hand is of none other than German countess, Carlotta Leibenstein, who by passing millions to Senior Gunther, created the extravagant Junior of today – Gunther the Fourth, the richest and the luckiest dog in high society.
2. Tinker the Cat: From Bastardly Origins to Middle Class Virtue
More mystery and drama surrounds the story of trials and tribulations of one poor Tinker, also known as “Tinker the Cat,” “the Puss,” or “Stray Moggie.” Yes Tinker is a cat, and the luckiest living cat indeed. However, Tinker’s life was no catwalk. Of humble origins, Tinker was facing penury, homelessness, and an otherwise rather mice-less life. However, he found a widow and was saved for good by her kindness and subsequent death.
Tinker’s incredible faire la culbute caused much uproar in the press; hence “the Puss” and “Stray Moggie” epithets prompted by jealousy and lack of empathy for Tinker’s sudden change of fortune: his coming into possession of a three-bedroom house and a comfy trust for cat-like trifles. True, Tinker is no royal Gunther. But isn’t the poor chap finally getting a well-deserved and long-sought for bourgeois comfort? The bar sinister on Mr. Tinker’s shield as well as the shortcomings of his unfortunate past do not detract from Tinker’s honor – he is as much a British citizen as any other cat in the Albion.
But wait, Mr. Tinker’s estate comes with some conditions. Apparently the widow was cognizant of Mr. Tinker’s bad habits – traumas of his post-pubescent outdoor feline past – that may occasionally set Mr. Tinker’s moral compass awry. When wild feline instincts overtake Tinker, he could be found roaming neighbors’ roofs in search of risqué encounters, meowing bawdily, and purring incessantly.
What if Tinker stumbles upon the roadblock of a midlife crisis, abandons his respectable settled ways, and becomes a stray tomcat again? Well, the poor chap shall be undone: provisions in the widow’s testamentary documents will disinherit the ungrateful villain. So, puff and purr Mr. Tinker as long as you keep that inside wild feline under tight control! For now, Mr. Tinker carries as a true gentleman: he lives in a peaceful union with a single mom cat taking care of her and her young kitten…purr…
3. Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: The King of Pop’s Chimpanzee Institutionalized
Yet, not every story has that cheesy Hollywood happy end, even if it’s the life story of the luckiest protégé of the rich and famous. If you ever visit the Center for Great Apes, you may be able to spot good old Mr. Bubbles, who is quite the chimp of a fellow. Yet Mr. Bubbles’ bubble has been totally burst. The rightful owner of a share of Michael Jackson’s fortune, the chimp lives in unfortunately humble circumstances as a common inmate of a “sanctuary” facility.
Mr. Bubbles was once Michael Jackson’s favorite and was poised to inherit one million dollars from the King of Pop. What happened to Bubbles? Why did he fall into this dark monkey chasm without even being disinherited? Michael Jackson’s will explicitly provides for Bubbles’ “secure long-term future.” Answers are nowhere to be found…. We can only hope that Bubbles will be restored in his rights and will come into his rightful inheritance. After all, that was the King of Pop’s last will.