“The Aristocats”

You remember the movie, don’t you? The Disney flick told the tale of French mama cat and her precocious kittens, and what happened when their greedy caretaker discovered his boss was leaving all her money to…the cats. One of my favorites – my sister and I used to walk to the corner movie theater (back in the days when only one movie played in a theater) with our own mama, order Red Vines and Sweet Tarts, and sit in the back rows to meow along during the songs. Never failed, we always spent the rest of the afternoon playing cats.

Funny how life imitates art. Last week, wealthy, mean-spirited, tax-avoider Leona Helmsley left $12 million dollars to her beloved pet Maltese, Trouble, cutting out her two grandkids in the process. Trouble currently lives in the Helmsley estate, cared for by the staffers. Sources say, Trouble needs a lawyer of her own. First off, Helmsley’s choice of caretaker refused the job. Secondly, contrary to Helmsley’s wishes, the cemetary where Helmsley is interred doesn’t allow pets to be buried on the premises. 

“This will does not represent Leona Helmsley’s wishes clearly,” said Rachel Hirschfeld, an estate lawyer who specializes in pet trusts. “She should be cared for the way Leona cared for her.” With Trouble apparently unwanted by her appointed caretaker, Helmsley’s brother Alvin Rosenthal, the dog deserves better, Hirschfeld said.”Trouble deserves impeccable care because she’s been left a large estate,” she said. “The guardian needs to have the pet’s best interests in mind.” 

Oh those wacky rich folks!

Posted by C. Bekhor


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