A Bronx widow left $300,000 to her two cats in her will, along with instructions that her beloved pets, Troy and Tiger, would “never be caged and always be lovingly cared for.”
Ellen Frey-Wouters, a Netherlands native who worked for the United Nations, died in 2015 at age 88. Her husband was a Brooklyn College professor who passed away in 1989. They had a child that passed away in infancy, so the cats (who were described as Ellen’s “babies”) were the obvious choice for Frey-Wouters when she was choosing her beneficiaries.
According to the New York Post, Lawyer Irwin Fingerit was a little surprised when Frey-Wouters suggested that she leave the large sum to her kitties.
“I said I didn’t think, you know, $300,000 was necessary, and I pointed out the case of the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, who left $65,000 to a dog and became sort of a laughingstock,’’ Fingerit said during a 2016 hearing about the gift. (Helmsley actually left $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble.)
“But no, no, [Frey-Wouters] insisted,” Fingerit said. “She wanted to make sure they were taken care of.”
So where are the wealthy cats now? Tiger is living the good life in Ocala, Florida, with Frey-Wouters’ former home health aide. She says, “He’s a wonderful cat.” Troy lives with Rita Pohila, another one of Frey-Wouters’ former home health aides.
When the cats die, the balance of their trust fund will go to Frey-Wouters’ only living family member, a sister in the Netherlands.
While it’s uncommon for cats to receive huge sums of money when their wealthy owners pass away, it’s not completely unheard of. Click here to read about some rich cats who inherited fortunes!