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Rich Widow Leaves $300,000 For Her Two Cats

The cats should “never be caged,” according to her will.

No one will daresay she didn’t love her cats. Ellen Frey-Wouters, who died at age 88, left $300,000 to her two cats, Troy and Tiger, in her will. Frey-Wouters, an author and a Netherlands native, passed away in 2015 and made special provisions for her feline pets, adding that the two would “never be caged.”

She has no immediate family to pass her money to. Her husband, who was a professor in Brooklyn College, died in 1989. Their only child died in infancy.

Tiger and Troy


Dahlia Grizzle, the widow’s former home health aide, is now Tiger’s caretaker. She said:

“The cats were like her babies. He deserves it,” she said. He’s a wonderful cat.”

Tiger, who is a former alley cat, now sleeps on a bed made of faux fur and silk lining and eats filet- ­mignon-flavored Fancy Feast regularly.

According to court papers, Frey-Wouters’ lawyer, Irwin Fingerit, was surprised when the widow decided to leave such a large sum to her pets.


Said Fingerit during a hearing in 2016:

“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.’’

Leona Helmsley is a New York billionaire famous for mistreating her staff.

Her attitude became legendary and thus earned her the nickname Queen of Mean. She actually left $12 million to her Maltese dog, Trouble.

But Frey-Wouters was adamant. “She wanted to make sure they were taken care of,” Fingerit said.

The other cat, Troy, now lives with Rita Pohila, also one of the widow’s former health aides. She received a $50,000 bequest from Frey-Wouters.

So what will happen when the cats die? Whatever’s left of their trust fund will go to the widow’s sister in the Netherlands, her only living family member. The rest of her estate, which was valued at $3 million, was split between her lawyer, her two other home health aides, and charities.


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