As living creatures, at one point, age catches up to us all. When we get to that moment, we start wondering what will happen to the things we love once we’re no longer around. For many of us, a way of easing this anxiety is by making plans or drafting up a will.
Older pet owners, specifically, are often encouraged to create some kind of care plan for their pet in the event that the owner unexpectedly passes away. “A common situation is that an elderly person has a dog or cat, but after an illness or injury, the owner sadly dies, leaving their much-beloved pet behind,” Co-Op Legal Services explains.
“Without a will or agreement, it can put a lot of pressure on relatives who may not want the responsibility, and household pets can often get away or even put down,” reports The Telegraph UK.
“That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead in your funeral planning for any pet you may have.”
One cat owner in Bronx, New York, took this advice very seriously, leaving her two beloved cats, Troy and Tiger, with a large fortune upon her death.
Ellen Frey-Wouters is a UN worker and writer best known for her novel Legacy of a War: American Soldier in Vietnam. According to reviewers, the book “presents the attitudes of both veterans and nonveterans alike about every conceivable aspect of the Vietnam War.” Ellen was more than just an activist, however. She was also an avid cat lover, who, at 88-years-old, spent most of her days socializing with her health aides and two cats.
As Ellen started getting older, she worried what would happen to the felines when she was gone. The Netherland native had been married, but her husband had passed in 1989. Their only child had also died in infancy.
“The cats were like her babies,” Dahlia Grizzle, Ellen’s home health aide, explained.
During her lifetime, Ellen had amassed an estate worth 3 million dollars, but she didn’t have anyone to leave it to. That’s when she decided to bequeath a whopping $300,000 to both of her cats.
When Ellen approached her lawyer with the idea, the man was skeptical.
“I said I didn’t think, you know, $300,000 was necessary,” Irwin Fingerit, Ellen’s lawyer, told New York Post.
“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.”
“But no, no, [Ellen] insisted. She wanted to make sure they were taking care of.”
When Ellen passed away, her brother refused to take care of Troy of Tiger. Instead, Ellen’s devoted home health aides each took one of the furry kitties home.
Ellen left $50,000 to both Rita Pohila and Dahlia Grizzle, the two aides who are now caring for Tiger and Troy, respectively.
For Tiger, it’s a veritable rags-to-riches story. He had actually been living as a street cat before being adopted by Ellen.
“[Tiger] deserves it,” Dahlia said.
“He’s a wonderful cat.”
Nowadays, Troy and Tiger are living the life of luxury, eating filet mignon-flavored cat food and sleeping in silky sheets. The two aides care for the cats, submitting bills, which are then paid by the fund.
If the two cats happen to pass away before the funds have been used, the remaining amount will be transferred to Ellen’s sister, who is still living in Netherland.
Upon hearing what Ellen had done for the cats, her neighbor Demetri Tsoulos said, “I think that’s incredible.”
“Your pets are your family and leaving money behind so that they can be taken care of is a beautifully human gesture, and it’s a lesson for the rest of us.”
Hear the story below!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group