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Crazy Rich Cats and Dogs

Reading time: 5 min.

Audience: fans of Crazy Rich Asians, pet owners, animal lovers

I finally watched the movie Crazy Rich Asians based on the first book in a series by Kevin Kwan… in an auditorium full of University of Washington students who were not all Asian like me. I saw the event listing on Facebook which advertised that the event was free but failed to mention that the movie was for students. Thankfully, they let me in because there was still room in the auditorium.

Could I have waited for the movie to be available on iTunes and watched it at home? Yes, I could have, but I would have missed the experience of camaraderie, laughing with others in an almost full auditorium. It has been a while since I have been around so many students; I graduated from vet school eight years ago.

Eight years ago, with the exception of Memoirs of a Geisha and Joy Luck Club, there were no Hollywood movies with an almost non-white cast like Crazy Rich Asians. The cast includes Korean-American actor/physician Ken Jeong (The Hangover series, Community, and Dr. Ken), Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh* (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies), and the Chinese-Korean-American actress/rapper Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8). Awkwafina was the first woman to host Saturday Night Live in eighteen years and only the second Asian woman to ever host SNL (after Lucy Liu)!

The stereotypical Asian is serious. Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic** comedy with many laugh-out-loud scenes. There are critics who called jokes in the movie unnecessary and the movie superficial. Only 1% of Asians are crazy rich. Most Asians like me have not experienced the level of extravagance portrayed in the movie.

There are also critics who did not think the movie was representative of Asians because it showcased light-skinned Eastern Asians, not brown Southeastern Asians. Other critics pointed out that the movie was not Asian enough because the cast includes half-Asians such as the lead actor Henry Golding whose father is British, hence the last name. Despite all the criticism, in general, the movie has been well received by North American viewers including me. The Rotten Tomatoes rating is 92% fresh!

My friend Jack the Dreamer wrote about Crazy Rich Asians after he watched it. I am not a financial independence blogger like him, but I can write about Crazy Rich Asians from a pet perspective.

Crazy rich Asians have cats and dogs, not just white people. Cats and dogs are symbols of status, protectors, best friends, and/or child surrogates. I have not read the book yet, but from the research that I did, dogs appeared in the crazy Rich Asian book more than in the movie.

I understand why they did not include all those dogs in the movie. There was so much going on: Gatsby-like parties, fireworks, gems and costumes so expensive that they needed security during filming.

Just before I watched Crazy Rich Asians, on my way to work one morning, I heard about the richest cats and dogs in the world on the radio.

The richest dog in the world is a German Shepherd called Gunther IV. He inherited approximately US$106 million from Gunther III, his father, a German Shepherd that was owned by German Countess Karlotta Liebenstein. The money is not all used for limousines, steaks, caviar, truffles, butlers/maids, and million-dollar homes; the money is invested by his caretakers. This dog is now worth over US$375 million!

The world’s richest cat in the world is Tardar Sauce. She is more famously known as Grumpy Cat with an estimated worth of US$99.5 million from media appearances, merchandise, and sponsorships. Her face looks permanently grumpy due to an underbite and dwarfism according to her owner Tabatha Bundesen.

The second richest cat in the world is a Scottish Fold cat called Olivia Benson worth US$97 million from being in commercials for Ked Shoes and Diet Coke. Her owner is Taylor Swift, the third highest paid pop star in 2017 according to Forbes Magazine.

Another celebrity, Drew Barrymore placed her US$3 million home in trust to her dog Flossie after he saved her and her then-husband from a fire in their house in the middle of the night. Flossie has since passed away.

Other crazy rich pets owned by celebrities include Oprah Winfrey’s dogs worth US$30 million through a trust fund. Oprah does not have any children. There are people who think that it is a waste to leave money to pets. Think of how all that money could help starving/ill/disabled children, men, and women, the environment, endangered animals…

Ultimately, how Oprah spends her hard-earned money is her prerogative, not mine or yours. It is better than the money going to a horrible human being who abuses kids, animals, etc.

I don’t need permission
Make my own decisions…
They say I’m crazy
I really don’t care
That’s my prerogative

My Prerogative, Bobby Brown (covered by Britney Spears)

Another crazy rich dog is Trouble, a Maltese owned by a real estate mogul, Leona Helmsley nicknamed the “Queen of Mean”. Trouble was meant to inherit US$12 million, but a judge intervened and diverted US$10 million to Helmsley’s two grandkids who were left out of the will and to charities.

Even chickens can be crazy rich. Worth US$15 million, Gigoo the Scots Dumpy chicken (a rare breed of chicken) was the pet of British publishing mogul Miles Blackwell.

To learn more about other crazy rich animals, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_animals and http://time.com/money/4054366/richest-pets-all-time/

Prior to moving to Seattle, I thought about writing a will. The sole reason: I did not want my cat Boo, my best friend, to end up at the humane society where he would be put down for not being docile.

The purpose of the will would not be to leave money to my pets, but to protect Boo by stating which friend would inherit him should I pass away before Boo. My dog Penny is small, friendly, and cute and would get adopted in a heartbeat. Boo, on the other hand, is cat reactive and fear aggressive.

He would be screaming, hissing, and biting people at the humane society. They would not know that he does tricks, that he sometimes walks on a leash outside, that he is good with kids and seniors, that he gives good hugs… I love my cat so much.

Boo Playing with Ribbons One Christmas

The people who I listed above love(d) their pets so much. Leaving so much money to a pet could be a grand gesture of love.

Would you leave money to your pets or write a will for your pets? For more information on why and how to include your pets in your will, visit http://time.com/money/4110085/pet-trust-estate-planning/ and https://www.rover.com/blog/include-pets-will/.

What did you think of  Crazy Rich Asians? If you have not watched it, please do! The movie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 20, 2018.

The money cat AKA happy cat, beckoning cat, lucky cat, or maneki-neko is thought to bring luck to the owner.

*********************************Spoilers:

*The gorgeous green ring that Michelle Yeoh wore in the movie actually belongs to her.

*The scene with Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu playing mahjong was not in the book; it was an original movie scene. That pivotal, symbolic scene brought tears to my eyes.

“I just wanted you to know that one day when he marries another lucky girl who is enough for you, and you’re playing with your grandkids, while the tan huas are blooming and the birds are chirping, that it was because of me – a poor, raised by a single mother, low class, immigrant nobody.”

**This romantic comedy has the most beautiful church wedding that I have ever seen.

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