Cats receive $250K, house in owner's will - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Cats receive $250K, house in owner's will

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The will states the money should be used for the care of Frisco and Jake and the maintenance of this house they live in. (Source: Google Earth) The will states the money should be used for the care of Frisco and Jake and the maintenance of this house they live in. (Source: Google Earth)
Two Mid-South cats are living the last of their nine lives in luxury after an estate was left behind for them by their owner. Two Mid-South cats are living the last of their nine lives in luxury after an estate was left behind for them by their owner.

(WMC-TV) - Two Mid-South cats are living the last of their nine lives in luxury after an estate was left behind for them by their owner.

Some might call them fat cats, because their house is in a gated community. Their owner, Leon Sheppard, Sr., left his 4,270-square-foot house and $250,000 for the care of his cats in his will.

His will states the money should be used for the care of Frisco and Jake and the maintenance of this house they live in.

"If their owner sees fit, they can create a trust for the welfare and benefit of the cats and their care," said attorney Randy Fishman, who has practiced law for almost 35 years.

He says it is rare, but it's not unheard of as New York hotel heiress Leona Helmsley left $12 million for the care of her dog, Trouble.

"I don't know [if] I've ever come across one," said Fishman.

Leon Sheppard's daughter said by phone that the family did not want to talk about it. Neighbors said Sheppard loved his cat.

Sheppard was president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1529 before he retired. He died at the age of 79.

Fishman says Sheppard's will is all legal.

According to the will, when Frisco dies whatever is left of the estate including the house can be passed to Sheppard's human heirs. However, Jake must be cared for. The heirs will be allowed to move Jake out of the house.

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