NEW YORK — A New York City widow who was worth $3 million, left 10 percent of her estate ($300,000) to her two cats in her will, along with instructions that the funds be used to make sure her pets, Troy and Tiger, were given great care in her absence.
Ellen Frey-Wouters died in 2015 at the age 88. According to the New York Post, she was a Netherlands native who worked for the United Nations. Reportedly, her husband, who was a college professor, passed away in 1989, and the couple’s only child died in infancy.
“The cats were like her babies,” said Dahlia Grizzle, the former home health aide to Frey-Wouters and now Tiger’s caretaker.
Tiger now lives with Grizzle in sunny Ocala, Fla., dining on top notch kibble and sleeping in plush faux-fur bedding.
Lawyer Irwin Fingerit was shocked when Frey-Wouters suggested leaving the hefty funds to her two pets, court papers indicate.
“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.
But Fingerit said Frey-Wouters insisted it was done because she needed to make sure they were going to be left in good hands.
The other cat, Troy, lives with Rita Pohila — another one of Frey-Wouters’ former home health aides. Pohila received her own $50,000 bequest from her ex-employer.
When the cats eventually die, the balance of their trust fund will go to Frey-Wouters’ only living family member, a sister in the Netherlands. The rest of her $3 million estate was split between two other home health aides, charities, and her lawyer.
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