Tommaso was a stray cat that Maria Assunta found and took care of because of her love for animals. Now, Tommaso is considered the world's richest cat and the third richest animal.
Assunta died at age 94 last month and Tommaso inherited the entire family fortune of $13 million (Euro $10 million), according to the Guardian.
The Guardian reported that Assunta was a childless widow of a successful builder. She left a hand-written will, signed on Nov. 26, 2009, leaving her lawyers the responsibility of finding the animal welfare body or association to which to leave the inheritance and the task of looking after the cat Tommaso.
Anna Orecchioni, one the lawyers told the Rome daily Il Messaggero, that they looked at several organizations but wasn't guaranteed enough about the Tommaso's future comfort and welfare.
As Assunta continued to grow frail, she and her lawyers decided to leave the cat to a fellow cat lover named Stefania.
Stefania is also a nurse who cared for Assunta when she became ill.
Sometimes I'd go to her house so my cat could play with Tommaso, Stefania said as reported by the media.
Stefania also said she didn't know Assunta had such wealth.
I promised her that I would look after the cat when she was no longer around, Stefania told the Daily Telegraph. She wanted to be sure that Tommaso would be loved and cuddled. But I never imagined that she had this sort of wealth. She was very discreet and quite, I knew very little of her private life. She only told me that she had suffered from loneliness a lot.
Tommaso falls behind Kalu the chimp, who is worth $80 million dollars, and Gunther IV, a German shepherd who inherited $372 million dollars from his father, Gunther III, whow as owned by a German countess, according to ABC.