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A Roman windfall makes Tomasso one fat cat

Meet Tomasso, the richest cat in the world. Once a 4-year-old stray cat that was rescued from the streets of Rome Tomasso is now sitting pretty on a $13 million inheritance.

Meet Tommasso, the richest cat in the world.

Once a 4-year-old stray cat that was rescued from the streets of Rome, Tommasso is now sitting pretty on a $13 million inheritance.

His childless owner Maria Assunta, the wealthy widow of an Italian property tycoon, left her fortune to Tommasso when she died recently at the age of 94.

The feline's newfound riches include cash, as well as properties in Rome, Milan and land in Calabria.

Here's a lesson for animal welfare groups: Assunta bequeathed the money to her cat because she could find no group that she felt would look after Tomasso properly, according to the Daily Telegraph.

So she left her riches to Tommaso via her nurse.

Tommaso, the nurse, and another cat, are living outside Rome at an undisclosed location, to avoid scam artists or um, cat-nappers.

The cat's lawyer said there have been many petitions for adoption of Tommasso.

No doubt.

The windfall for Tommaso places him No.3 on the list of wealthy pets, behind Kalu the chimp, whose owner left him $80 million dollars, and top dog Gunther IV, a German shepherd who inherited $372 million dollars from his father, Gunther III, the beloved companion of an eccentric German countess.

Real estate magnate Leona Helmsley caused an uproar when she left $12 million to her dog Trouble. But when her human descendants made their case for a piece of the Helmsley fortune, Trouble's pot was cut to $2 million.