Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85, and the internet is worried about what will happen to his pampered cat, Choupette.
The elegant feline was a constant presence at the icon’s side, with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, a blog and a book featuring recipes and photos with model Linda Evangelista.
Choupette, whose social media profiles describe Lagerfeld as “daddy”, ate exquisite meals from silverware at the dinner table with Chanel’s artistic director and travelled by chauffeur-driven car.
The seven-year-old white-haired Birman has an iPad, two personal maids, a bodyguard and her own fashion and make-up lines.
But after Lagerfeld’s death was announced on Tuesday morning EST, fans said they were “terribly worried” about what would happen to Choupette.
The Siamese has grown accustomed to a luxury lifestyle, sleeping in discarded Chanel garments and appearing on a Harper’s Bazaar cover with the designer.
Choupette once belonged to French model Baptiste Giabiconi, but after two weeks of house-sitting in 2011, Lagerfeld adopted the cat. “When he came back I thought, ‘I’m sorry, Choupette is mine,’” said the designer in an interview with CNBC.
She travelled with her owner all over the world. “Even if she sleeps, she doesn’t want to be alone,” said Lagerfeld. “She’s like a chic lady, like a kept woman with her personal maid.
“I never thought that I could fall in love with an animal like this.”
In 2015, the doting dad told The Cut Choupette was the “most famous” and “richest” cat in the world after she made $US3 million in a year through deals with a German car company and Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura.
The Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura collection featured furry false lashes and “claw” polishes and the designer shot the promotional images and drew sketches of his beloved kitty.
Choupette — which means “sweetie” in French — also brought out her own clothing and accessories line in 2014, featuring bags, shoes and scarves branded with a cartoon “Monster Choupette”.
Lagerfeld once described her as having “a great personality, like a person”. While known for his occasional cruel comments about human women, the designer had only praise for Choupette. “She is peaceful, funny, fun and gracious, she’s pretty to look at and has good poise, but her main quality is that she doesn’t talk,” he told Numero magazine.
He adored her so much that even Anna Wintour once said she would like to be reincarnated as the cat.
“There are people I call my Choupettes,” Lagerfeld told Vogue last year. “(Luna Bijl) and the daughter of Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, they are my Choupettes.”
But Lagerfeld said he was particular about what the Siamese was allowed to work on, declaring her “too sophisticated” to advertise “foodstuffs and things like this.”
Choupette has a private vet in Paris and is on first-name terms with the city’s top chefs. At Christmas, the spoilt puss feasts on custom dishes, such as Japanese-style beef or chicken gelée with asparagus.
Lagerfeld had declared his wish to be buried with his cat. “There will be no funeral. I’d rather die!” he told Numero magazine last April.
“I’ve asked to be cremated and want my ashes to be scattered along with my mother’s … and Choupette’s, if she dies before I do.”
It seems likely the cat will be well looked after. “Choupette is a rich girl,” Lagerfeld told Vanity Fair. “She has her own little fortune. If anything happens to me, the person who will take care of her will not be in poverty.”