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Cats go to court to keep luxury pad in Brazil

April 11, 1997

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Cats may have the luxury of nine lives, but do they have the right to live them in a posh penthouse?

In the weeks to come, five judges of Brazil’s Superior Justice Tribunal must decide whether three of them can continue to romp around the 5,800-square-foot apartment bequeathed to them by their late owner.

When Luci Carmen Bianchi died in 1995, her will stipulated that her cats Puppy, Laika and Branquinho have all the creature comforts they were accustomed to while she was alive _ including her apartment in Porto Alegre, 700 miles south of Sao Paulo.

A local court sided with disgruntled family members who challenged the will, saying ``animals do not have legal rights or obligations.″ But Mrs. Bianchi’s brother, Altamiro, was on the cats’ side. He appealed.

``All I want is for my sister’s will to be respected, at least while the animals are still alive,″ he said in a telephone interview Friday.

The court said no date had been set for the case to be heard.

In the meantime, the cats are living with Altamiro.

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