Tags: ernest hemingway | house | cats | irma

Ernest Hemingway's House, Cats Survive Irma in Florida Keys

Image: Ernest Hemingway's House, Cats Survive Irma in Florida Keys

The Ernest Hemingway house and its resident six-toed cats made it through Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 11 Sep 2017 04:17 PM

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, home to about 50 six-toed cats descended from one that belonged to Hemingway when he was alive, made it safely through Hurricane Irma.

Employees and 54 cats rode out the storm at the former Hemingway house in Key West, Florida, without any damage, The Washington Post reported. The building sits 16 feet above sea level and is a high point on the island.

In the absence of hurricanes, Hemingway’s cats roam the gardens and house freely, and visitors to the home and museum worried about the safety of the cats they had grown fond of with Irma approaching.

Key West was under a full evacuation order, but Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum General Manager Jacque Sands refused to leave. She felt it would be too traumatic to move all the cats, and that the high position of the house and its 18-inch thick limestone walls would protect them, The New York Times reported.

The Hemingway house cats are mostly descended from Snow White, a six-toed cat given to Hemingway by a ship’s captain, the museum’s website says. Not all of the cats actually have six toes on their front paws, but all carry the polydactyl gene that produces that trait.

The cats are named after famous people, a tradition Hemingway followed with his cats as well, the museum website said.

Granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, actress Mariel Hemingway, had urged Sands to evacuate with the cats, but later said she was glad they made it through safely.

Twitter followers praised the museum staff and expressed their joy that the cats were OK.

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The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, home to about 50 six-toed cats descended from one that belonged to Hemingway when he was alive, made it safely through Hurricane Irma.
ernest hemingway, house, cats, irma
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2017-17-11
Monday, 11 Sep 2017 04:17 PM
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