Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hemingway Home

The Hemingway Home in Key West is a bit of a Mecca for cat folk. The lot is surrounded by a stone fence, but it is easily scaleable by cats. Because these descendants of Hemingway's polydactyl cats are used in marketing for the museum, they technically may fall under USDA regulations for the use of animals in exhibition. This would mean they may need to be restrained by primary and secondary enclosures, and a host of other requirements. An understanding was struck that enabled the cats to remain. Purrfect Fence was erected to keep the cats safely on the property.

The story is fascinating. Here is an article from when the controversy was still open.

Hemingway had this fountain built for the cats to drink from.

You can see the Purrfect Fence (mesh that bends into the property) at the top of the existing stone fence.

This fellow totally ignored a tour as well as the tour guide who explained how it was his own job, at the end of the day, to relocate this fellow outside. The cat, oblivious now, knew exactly when the day was done and would come to life at closing time, making his daily eviction less than easy.

I'm afraid at nearly 2 am, I'm fresh out of narrative.


Martha said...

I read that polydactyl cats were popular on ships...the idea being they were better ratters. And didn't a sea captain give Hemingway his first polydactyl cat? We have a cat with six toes each on the front paws and five on the back. She's an excellent soccer player, but as an indoor cat, we don't know if her hunting skills are superior!

Zuleme said...

Harper is a polypaws with beautiful thumbs on his front paws. I tell him he is the next step in feline evolution.
I loved the Hemingway House. I got to wander through it on my own while on a working trip to Key West. And there was a very self assured feline on the same bed, but I think it was a white one. I watched one tour guided talking to a group while another very self possessed feline stood by his side. They know just how important they are.

Rags to Riches Cat Rescue said...

i had not read this story, thanks for sharing.

possumlady said...

Not much of a tropical gal (don't think I'm nuts but I'd prefer to vacation where you live--I miss snow!). That said, I've always wanted to go to Key West just to see the Hemingway home and cats. Thanks for the tour!