Parting shots

BBC News: Where there’s a will there’s a whim.

He could have left it all to a charity, any charity – perhaps one that cares for cats as Jonathan Jackson of Columbus, Ohio, envisaged when he drew up his own will in the late 19th Century? Mr Jackson left money for the creation of a "cat house", according to The People’s Almanac, where cats had sleeping quarters, a dining hall, an exercise area, specially designed roofs for easy climbing, a conversation room and – why not? – an auditorium where they could listen to the accordion.

Instead, Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara opted for setting a cat among the pigeons: 70 people listed in a Lisbon phone directory were contacted out of the blue after his death to be told he had made them his beneficiaries. They had been chosen at random from the directory, in front of two witnesses at a registry office 13 years before.

I love the reader comments that end up on some of these stories.