Author Ernest Hemingway‘s home (turned museum) in Key West, Florida did suffer minor damages due to hurricane Ian. But luckily his famous colony of 6-toed cats made it through unharmed. All 59 cats were safely sheltered on the property during the storm. Some members of staff stayed behind to feed and tend to them.
Hemingway’s Spanish Colonial-style home was built in 1851. It was a gift to him and his second wife, Pauline, by her uncle Gus. Though Morgan stated “All is well,” there was still some downed trees and leaf debris from Ian. The museum was even closed yesterday but is back up and running today.
The cat colony on the property started when Hemingway was gifted Snow White, a six-toed cat by a ship captain. From there the colony grew and became what it is today. The website states that “About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl (six toes) trait, but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have 4 and 5 toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens.”
And after all this time “Some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat.” While the colony is obviously too big to remain indoors staff do have veterinarians perform procedures like ear mite treatment, flea spraying, and de-worming. As well as annual vaccinations, and routine animal health maintenance. On top of keeping all the kittens healthy, the museum has also kept Hemmingway’s tradition of naming the cats after famous people.
They even offer an app for $2.99 where you can learn more about the 6-toed cat colony. As well as some stuff about Hemingway, but let’s be real, you’re here to see cute kittens with too many toe beans.