Karl Lagerfeld, who died in Paris today, is survived by his Birman breed cat Choupette, with which he shared a remarkable bond. “There is no marriage, yet, between human beings and animals… I never thought I would fall in love like this with a cat”, the outspoken fashion designer told CNN in 2013. “She is the center of my world. She’s like Greta Garbo in a way, there’s something about her that makes her unforgettable”.
After inspiring an entire fashion collection and starring in several advertising campaigns, Choupette became a celebrity in her own right, with over 120,000 followers on Instagram and 50,000 on Twitter. She was even the subject of a book: Choupette: the Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat, published by Flammarion in 2014. Lagerfeld acted as the cat’s agent, reportedly earning some 3 million euros -- a sum he swore he never touched. “Choupette is a rich girl. She has her own little fortune. If anything happens to me, the person who will take care of her will not be in poverty”, the designer once told Vanity Fair.
Now that Lagerfeld has passed, fans the world over cannot help but ask: who is inhering the cat? Knowing who will be taking care of her seems almost as important to social media users as knowing who will succeed Lagerfeld at the helm of Chanel -- after all, if Virginie Viard was his right hand at work, Choupette was his right hand in life. It is known Choupette has a bodyguard, a personal chef and two maids to cater for her every need. Will any of them get the cat?
Image: courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld/Steiff