The Fashion World’s Excesses Aside, Choupette’s Story Is About A Man Discovering His Love Of Cats

I imagine I would have had very little in common with Karl Lagerfeld, yet there’s one thing that makes us kindred spirits.

Neither of us expected to have a fondness for cats and were blindsided with love for a furry friend.

For Lagerfeld, the revelatory moment came when he reluctantly agreed to cat-sit for a model friend who was going out of the country for a shoot. When the friend returned after two weeks and saw how Lagerfeld was enamored with Choupette — and how mellowed out he was with her — he decided to let the designer keep the cream-coated Burmese kitty.

Choupette brought the normally reserved German out of his shell and she became his favorite muse, appearing on the covers of fashion magazines in the arms of the world’s most famous supermodels.

“My love for little furballs came to me quite late,” Lagerfeld told an interviewer in 2016. “I had dogs before in my life, but that was when I lived in the countryside. In Paris, as in all big cities, it’s always a bit complicated. As you can imagine, I can no longer afford to walk a dog down the street without it bordering on a riot. And then a dog is far from clean and spotless, and when it rains, it smells of dead rats. I had two friends who owned a cat, and they always did loads of them in the overflowing kind of affection, so much so that I found it frankly ridiculous. Well, now I’m much worse.”

“I never thought I would fall in love like this with a cat,” the designer added.

Like Lagerfeld, the cat enthusiasts I knew mostly took their love for felines to absurd levels. My friend Dave grew up in a house that was home to between 10 and 12 cats at any particular time. I had to dose on antihistamines just to enter the damn house and often had to leave, nose congested and eyes bloodshot, before things got worse. Another childhood friend had as many as 10 cats at any particular time.

To me, cats were annoying, inscrutable animals who climbed on everything with impunity and made me very sick.

It wasn’t until the latter friend moved in with his girlfriend and their cat count was reduced to a manageable two that I realized I could interact with cats without getting sick — and I actually liked the little stinkers.


Like Lagerfeld, sometimes I look at what my life has become and think, “What the hell am I doing here?”

But of course there’s nothing wrong with being a man who has a cat, and Bud has been a hugely positive part of my life, providing daily amusement, refusing to leave my side when I’m sick, making sure I get out of bed when I don’t want to because He Must Be Fed, and in general being my best buddy.

I adopted Bud at a difficult time in life and taking care of him, being responsible for an innocent life, kept me from sinking into an even deeper funk. He has destroyed my favorite guitar, half my t-shirts have little claw holes in them, he wakes me up nightly simply because he wants to snuggle and he’s an absolute terror when it comes to swiping things off every flat surface in the apartment.

But I would not change a hair on his head. I’m incredibly grateful for the little guy.

As buzz around Choupette builds now that it’s confirmed she’ll play a central role in this year’s Met Gala — which will honor her late human, Lagerfeld — we’ll see a lot of photos of Choupette amid the excesses of the fashion world.

Choupette on a private jet. Choupette eating food prepared for her by her own chef. Choupette laying on a bed while Kim Kardashian makes duck lips and poses with her. Choupette with Anna Wintour, the infamous queen bee of fashion who is perhaps the most outlandish symbol of that world’s excess.

But it helps to remember Choupette was first and foremost a beloved pet, and she’s a cat. She doesn’t know who Kim Kardashian is and she doesn’t care. She certainly isn’t impressed by the opulence around her, which is the product of humans projecting their ideas onto her. Replace her custom-made silver bowls with a $15 stainless steel set from PetSmart and she won’t  be phased.

And I’m pretty sure that when she does participate in the Met Gala, she’ll rather be at home, snuggling up in her favorite blanket, belly full of yums and settling down for a nice nap instead of being fussed over by a group of people who look like aliens in a Star Wars cantina.

In fact, Choupette famously refused to leave Lagerfeld’s hotel room despite being listed as his plus-one for a New York event honoring Tilda Swinton in 2013. “Choupette is not a party girl,” Lagerfeld said at the time.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take Buddy to a tuxedo fitting and refine my plans to have him “bump into” Choupette, so he can turn on the charm, sweep her off her paws and become the very wealthy Mr. Choupette.

16 thoughts on “The Fashion World’s Excesses Aside, Choupette’s Story Is About A Man Discovering His Love Of Cats”

    1. I wrote Tux into a post about The Bachelorette: Choupette, but it’s missing something and I don’t know what, so I’m gonna go back to it at some point and hopefully finish it. But yeah, Tux is a contestant along with Bud and a house full of other suitors!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good story, but I’m betting your Little Buddy is happier with you, his Faithful, Loving Human Servant. Since he clearly has you wrapped around his little paw, he’s already in the best place, rich or not.😊💟💜💙💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He really does have me wrapped around his paw. With Choupette, I think she’s probably happy with Lagerfeld’s former housekeeper, someone she’s known for years and trusts, but I can’t imagine many cats enjoying a loud, crowded human party.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great article. I have no problem with rich people. Just that they help out thier fellow man who are having trouble putting decent food on table. Or people having to give up thier pets. Fashion? Could not give a rats ass about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s amazing that it’s 2023 and income inequality is worse than ever, and that we split ourselves into “My billionaire is better than your billionaire!” camps, but selfishness is part of human nature and it takes an effort of will to overcome it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. No wonder Karl Lagerfeld fell for Choupette, she’s a beauty! One doesn’t have to be a world famous fashion icon to see the perfection of the feline form, cat lovers are well aware of this.
    Will you update us on Buddy’s attempts to woo Choupette?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. He looks dashing in his Georgio Armeowni tux.

      I think everyone is a potential cat lover if they’re open minded and make an effort to learn at least the basics, so they know interacting with cats is different than with dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. My sister was a dog person all her life. Then her kids brought kittens home. It took a while, but I knew she had fallen in love when I overheard her addressing the kitties in a tender voice……she was saying Purr-ball, Fur-ball. I was like, Aha! Another win for cats.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. My dad was indifferent to the first cat in the house. When she passed, my boyfriend got me a kitten for Christmas. My dad was indifferent to that cat as well. About a year later, I was at an animal event in downtown Philly, with an organization I was with at the time. One of the other booths had three little kittens for adoption. Two were in the back of the cage doing kitten things, the third was front and center, meowing, and clearly trying to communicate, ‘I’m ADORABLE, a’ight? Somebody get me out of this cage.’ I fell for it. I was still living at home at the time, and told my mom this long… lie about where the kitten came from. Immediately, my dad was smitten. Daisy became his cat, his ‘mischievous little cub,’ and his very very very best friend. Once he and my mom had one of their rare dust-ups, and he said he was leaving, with Daisy. (He stayed. Mainly, I think, because he had no idea how to cook.) At that time, my dad had horrible back problems, and there was only one chair in the living room he was comfortable sitting in. But if his little furry darling was asleep on that chair, he’d sit elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I’ve done that, sitting in another chair if Bud is in mine, but mostly I get a few treats and he comes running.

      That’s a great story and another good example of encountering the right cat. Do you remember the backstory you told your parents about Daisy?

      The bit about your dad staying because he can’t cook reminded me of a GQ article years ago by a guy praising his mom’s tacos. He wrote that years after his parents were divorced, his dad wouldn’t lament the relationship or the times they spent together…he spoke wistfully of how delicious her tacos were.


      1. My lie re: Daisy. ‘Hey, um, Mom, a friend adopted this kitten, but she’s moving, so… um, she asked if I would take care of it, until she’s in her new place.’ My mom was a cat lover, so I’m sure my story was forgotten like a week later. Cat lover she was, but Daisy could be a huhYOOGE brat – like pulling anything from a piece of bread to an uncooked pork chop out of the kitchen – running upstairs with it in her mouth. Mom was always very vocal about what Daisy did wrong, which really offended my father. In his eyes, she could eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. She could, with her mighty claws, render all the furniture to sticks. No matter what she did, she was always and ever his perfect little friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s hilarious. Your dad was like the parent who would never believe their darling child could ever do anything wrong. Felines have powerful sorcery indeed.


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