Have feral cats inherited a cool $400,000 from a former Louisiana resident known as the Cat Lady? According to Kim Chatelain of The Times-Picayune, they probably have. The executor of the estate for 72-year-old Gail Sheffield, who died last fall, has now received $100,000 for the Feral Cat Consortium in Madisonville, Louisiana, near her former home in Covington.
Chatelain’s report stated that another $300,000 will go to a spay and neuter program in Kalispell, Montana, where she lived for the last 10 years of her life. KAJ18, a local Kalispell TV station, said that the legacy left to the Flathead County Spay and Neuter Task Force was actually only $20,000 in cash and a home valued at around $200,000.
Either way, that’s a lot of scratch for feral cats.
And the money will actually be spent on the stray felines. The Feral Cat Consortium is an all-volunteer effort. According to their website, volunteers have sometimes spent their own money, as well as donating their time. Wendy Guidry, who currently runs the effort, told The Times-Picayune that vet costs have run as high as $30,000 a year. “With this donation, we can be totally focused on our mission and not have to worry so much about fundraising,” she said.
The Flathead County Spay and Neuter Task Force also reported an all-volunteer staff, although vets and vet techs receive a token fee to help them with their expenses.
In late 2011, the world sat up and took notice when Tommosa, a former feral cat in Rome, inherited $13 million dollars to become quite possibly the richest cat in the world, as reported by Giselle Smith for MSN Money.
But there was a catch. “Italian law doesn’t permit animals to inherit property, [so] the attorney for the estate gave the cat and his fortune to Assunta’s former nurse,” Smith wrote.
In this case, the Cat Lady’s bequest will definitely go to benefit her beloved feral cats.