ERNEST HEMINGWAY & HIS LOVE OF CATS
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty. Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
American journalist, novelist, short-story writer Ernest Miller Hemingway was not only known for his famous books like Pulitzer winner “The Old Man and the Sea” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” but his love of cats.
Once Hemingway said: “One cat just leads to another,” Well, he was right. His Spanish Colonial home in Key West - Florida was named after Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and the house fosters between 40 and 50 felines today. When you visit the museum, you can see Hemingway's cats are sleeping in the museum, lying under the shade of plants in the garden, or stretched by the swimming pool...
About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have four and five toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well.
The story of Ernest Hemingway and his six-toed cats began with Snow White, a white polydactyl kitten that Hemingway received in the 1930s. The kitten was a gift from a sea captain named Stanley Dexter. Sailors favored polydactyl cats, believing they were good luck. Their extra toes enhanced their abilities as mousers and provided better balance on rough seas. Still, some of the cats that live in the museum are descended from Snow White.