After Hurricane Irma reduced a Caribbean island to "literally rubble" last week, the 54 cats that live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & … You can pet them and most are friendly...we did not try to hold them. When Sloppy Joe’s moved to its current location, Ernest took one of the old urinals and put it out in his backyard for some reason. The Ernest Hemingway House was the residence of American writer Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s. Individuals & rescue groups can post animals free." I would not recommend trying to pet or hold them. The pool wasn’t already on the property when the Hemingway’s moved in, though. You can access the studio only via a set of steep stairs, and a gate blocks the doorway, but it’s worth climbing up to view this peaceful sanctuary if you can. Get quick answers from The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum staff and past visitors. Map updates are paused. We quickly zoomed by the kitchen without any commentary, but I thought it was lovely! Wander through the lush grounds and enjoy the whimsy of the more than forty cats that live here. We did, however, get to learn a bit more about the Hemingways’ gorgeous pool. Though it may seem odd, over 40 six-toed felines call the Hemingway House home, and visitors can’t help but fall in … But if you’d like to take home one of the bona fide Hemingway cats, you’re out of luck. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. About five minutes after we arrived and bought our tickets, we were able to join a guided tour of the house and grounds. There are cats everywhere, which is my idea of heaven, and it doesn’t hurt that the house and grounds are absolutely gorgeous as well. There is a small model of his boat, , and our guide explained how Hemingway liked to fictionalize people and stories from his life in his writing. There are over 50. Located at 907 Whitehead Street and nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, this unique property was home to one of America’s most honored and respected authors. The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum is a significant address on any Key West itinerary. There is a small model of his boat, Pilar, and our guide explained how Hemingway liked to fictionalize people and stories from his life in his writing. They came up to the guide for treats and were great for taking pictures. You see, they’re not just any cats – they’re polydactyl cats, which means that they have extra toes! Apparently, about 70% of Hemingway’s work was written in that very studio. If you’d like to adopt a seven-toed cat of your own, you can learn more about Peanut at www.peggyadams.org. His cats’ descendants still roam the property today. The grounds are occupied by about 50 six-toed cats, so if you are allergic to cats take caution. The number of cats on the property varies at any given time, but during our visit, we were told that there were currently 59 in residence! The shop has books by and about Hemingway and even a few cats tending shop! Yes the cats are friendly but we didn't think it would be appropriate to handle them. Welcome to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum web site. Give yourself at least an hour to take the tour and explore, and I promise you’ll leave with a smile on your face! However, only about half of the cats that are on the property are polydactyl, meaning they have six toes on their front feet and sometimes five on their back feet (although one, Billie Holiday, actually has six toes on one of her back feet, too!) I did my best to catch some photos of their unique and unusual little paws, and we tried to sneak in a few pats when they’d let us. All 54 cats and 10 occupants at the Ernest Hemingway home in Key West are safe and accounted for after the majority Hurricane Irma passed by … Not as helpful. Ernest Hemingway received a cat named Snow White in the 1930s. Be aware that events may be happening the day you wish to visit, which could impact where you can and cannot go on the property. We saw photos of all four of his wives, and we mostly learned about wife number two, Pauline, whom Hemingway lived with on this property (Pilar was the secret name he used for Pauline while cheating on wife number one, in case you’re wondering where the name of his boat came from.). The famous Hemingway House cats In the 1930s, sea captain Stanley Dexter gave Ernest Hemingway a white six-toed cat named Snow White. In fact, caring for them is very similar to how one would care for a cat with the usual number of digits. They weren’t exactly mean, but they were pretty standoffish, which made us a little sad. I Was A Hemingway Fan At one point, I also loved Ernest Hemingway, so much that I completed an independent study on him and his writing in my senior year at the University at Albany. About half of the cats have six toes, but all carry the polydactyl gene, meaning the “normal” cats can still produce six-toed kittens. And speaking of the cats…..you didn’t think I would forget, did you??? As I was reading the plaque in the cemetery, I noticed that many of the cats … Last week, I visited Key West with my family, and we had an absolute blast! What else were you expecting them to do??? He took his own life in 1961, and his sons eventually sold the property to a local Key West woman named Bernice Dixon, who only lived there for a few years before turning it into a museum. Have you already been to The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum? The remaining cats on the property all have the normal number of toes. But the most famous of his animals are his cats. But. After Hurricane Irma reduced a Caribbean island to "literally rubble" last week, the 54 cats that live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & … . ( Log Out /  From the verandah, we walked down the outer stairway so that we could head out to the pool. “The cats born on property here stay at the home,” according to Ms. Morgan of the Hemingway Home. Prices are $14 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and children under 5 are free. The house is situated on the island of Key West in Florida.It is at 907 Whitehead Street, across from the Key West Lighthouse, close to the southern coast of the island.Due to its association with Hemingway, the property is the most popular tourist attraction in Key West. Yes, Ernest Hemingway’s Florida House Is Now Home to over 50 Six-Toed Cats—Here’s Why Meghan Jones Updated: Dec. 23, 2019 Come for the literary history, stay for the cats! This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Even though they didn’t want much to do with us, we did still enjoy seeing all of the cats at the Hemingway house. “The cats born on property here stay at the home,” according to Ms. Morgan of the Hemingway … There are plenty of chairs and benches scattered throughout where you can enjoy a bit of shade, and if you’re lucky, a furry companion may just sit down and keep you company! If you’re a cat lover and find yourself in Key West, I highly recommend a visit to The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. ), have extra toes that make their paws look like oversized mittens. The tour is included in the admission price and lasts about 30 minutes. Unique, unusual, and unexpected travel in NYC and beyond. Copyright © 2018-2021 Visit All the Places. If you’re interested in visiting the Hemingway House, you can do so 365 days a year, including all holidays. Unfortunately, cats do not live forever, but you can pay your respects at the Cat Cemetery behind the house. This house is such an attraction in Key West that tourists lined up down the street to get inside. Are the cats friendly/ can you hold them? Tell me about your own visit! I’m always fascinated by kitchens in beautiful old homes and this one did not disappoint. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The pace of the tour is pretty fast, but once it’s over, you can always go back into the house and gardens to look at things in more detail if you’d like. You can visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the cat colony still thrives — and some of the kitties are descendants of Snowball, Hemingway’s original polydactyl. See more ideas about hemingway cats, cats, polydactyl cat. You know what Ernest said, “This was a … Yes. Have you been to their website? I did not see anyone hold any but they were not afraid of you and would let you touch them. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. - ♥ RESCUE ME! However, if you are sitting around on one of the outdoor benches on the grounds and one happens to jump in your lap it's okay. Now, we were definitely curious to see the house and the beautiful gardens there. But these cats don’t care about none of that. Tift’s wife and sons died within a couple years of moving in, but Tift remained in the house until his own death in 1889. Polydactyl cats are such a big deal that they’ve made it all the way to the White House: President Theodore Roosevelt had a six-toed first kitty named Slippers. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Dead people don't really have cats. Construction actually began back in 1849 and the house was completed two years later in 1851. Most of them were probably there solely to pet the 6-toed cats and couldn’t give a hoot about Hemingway or recall anything he wrote, if they even read his novels in the first place. Mar 14, 2016 - Explore Doc Nyto's board "Hemingway - cats & Papa", followed by 342 people on Pinterest. They are NOT related to Hemingway's cats at all. Our final stop in the gardens was at the cats’ water-drinking fountain, which also has an interesting history. Ernest Hemingway’s first polydactyl cat, Snow White, was given to him by a ship’s captain. The Hemingway House is a popular venue for weddings and parties. In fact, Ernest once had a regulation-sized boxing ring out where the pool is currently located. The cats are said … BUT his house has cats. Although, she also told us that Hemingway had lost sight in one eye, suffered nine documented concussions, and spent four months in a hospital after an explosion in WWI, so it’s hard to say whether all the cats he had over the years brought him much good luck at all! Apparently when he was alive he had a whole menagerie of animals. But the most famous of his animals are his cats. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Do you know about Hemingway’s cats? If you have been to Hemingway House in Key West, Florida, you no doubt met some polydactyl cats. Ernest lived there until he and Pauline divorced in 1940, and she stayed there with their two sons until her death in 1951. The cats were all beautiful and looked healthy and clean – and they should be since they have their own private veterinarian! Ernest is known for saying that “one cat just leads to another”, and that was true for him in his life. This kitten was unique because she had six toes on her front paws. Most of them were probably there solely to pet the 6-toed cats and couldn’t give a hoot about Hemingway or recall anything he wrote, if they even read his novels in the first place. This means that even the cats with normal numbers of toes on each paw (five front toes and four rear toes) can produce polydactyl kittens. Among sailors, 6-toed cats (sometimes called mitten cats) are viewed as good luck and are considered better hunters aboard the … We do not allow our guests to pick up the cats, but you may pet them and photograph them. So at the Hemingway House, I petted each one that got within arm’s reach. Polydactyl cats are such a big deal that they’ve made it all the way to the White House: President Theodore Roosevelt had a six-toed first kitty named Slippers. A visitor to the Hemingway House will observe lots of cats, such as this gray polydactyl, relaxing throughout the grounds. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. I’m sure it’s exhausting to be in the limelight all the time, though! From the bedroom, we were able to step out onto the verandah where there are beautiful views of the Key West lighthouse across the street. "Click here to view Hemingway Polydactyl Cats in Florida for adoption. Next, we stopped in the dining room to look at what our guide called “The Wall of Women”. The famous Hemingway House cats In the 1930s, sea captain Stanley Dexter gave Ernest Hemingway a white six-toed cat named Snow White. And there are a whole lot of these cats roaming the stunning Hemingway property. Can we do the Hemingway house tour and see Key West on... Are the guided tours at set times? If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Uh oh. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: Don't forget to pet the cats! At 24’ X 64’, it is the largest residential pool in Key West (which our guide pointed out makes it even bigger than many of the local hotels’ pools!) There are cats everywhere, which is my idea of heaven, and it doesn’t hurt that the house and grounds are absolutely gorgeous as well. Mariel Hemingway (pictured) said Sands is an 'admirable person for trying to stay there and save the cats and the house,' but ultimately 'it's just a house'. I don’t know if it’s been remodeled or has any original features, but I personally thought it was the prettiest room in the house. This kitten was unique because she had six toes on her front paws. Hemingway cats are easy to care for! Supposedly, Ernest came home, saw what Pauline had done, and threw a penny on the ground at her, saying “you might as well have taken my last red cent.” Pauline picked up that penny and had it placed in the grout by the pool and it’s still there today! And if you live in NYC and won’t make it to Key West anytime soon, you can always check out the Brooklyn Cat Cafe in the meantime! Hemingway named all of his pets after famous people, a tradition that’s still followed today. We didn’t visit the studio on our tour since our group was so large, but we did pop in afterward and you will find it laid out exactly as it used to be when Hemingway spent his mornings working in there. ( Log Out /  Check their. However, you’re also welcome to simply wander the grounds and house on your own during the opening hours if you do not wish to participate in a tour. ( Log Out /  Finally, while you’re welcome to pet the cats, you’re not permitted to pick them up. You can pet them but are advised not to pick them up / hold them. Hemingway House in Key West They hold weddings at the Hemingway House. The polydactyl cats have full run of the author’s famed residence. There are so many cats at Hemingway Home that the museum has its own veterinarian to care for them. You are not allowed to pick them up. Helpful answer. Turns out, there was! It’s a grand house with distinctive architectural features and beautiful gardens. As most of you know Hemingway's former home is now a museum that houses around 60 cats which are the descendents of his original pets. The museum welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world and looks forward to welcoming you! Hemingway never moved back into the house, though he would stay there from time to time after Pauline’s death when he was traveling to and from Cuba. Once a big enough group has assembled, the tour will depart (this typically happens about every 10-15 minutes throughout the day). We didn’t wander much through the gardens on the tour, but stick around afterward and you can spend as much time there as you’d like. Unfortunately, though, none of them were especially friendly. The house wasn’t originally built for the Hemingways. While the staff ask that you do not pick up the resident cats, you are free to pet them if the cats allow it. We began our tour on the first floor of the house where there is a large display devoted to Hemingway’s life as a sailor and fisherman. Fifty-four of them to be exact. As our guide explained, Pauline had become aware that Ernest wasn’t exactly being the most faithful husband and so she got her revenge by taking out his boxing ring and putting in the pool for a whopping $20,000 back in 1937. See, Key West didn’t really have running water until it started getting piped in from the mainland in the 1940s. That means that they have extra toes. The cats were very friendly. I mean, they’re cats! The Hemingway House cats may have a common ancestor, but most of them are 'mutts' of questionable lineage, and a number of breeds are represented on the grounds. So many paparazzi…. Most of them enjoy being pet and some will come sit in you lap. So at the Hemingway House, I petted each one that got within arm’s reach. Change ). They have a few web cams where you can see the cats (and tourists) walking by and things. Next, as we ventured through the nanny’s room and the room Hemingway’s two sons, Patrick and Gregory, once shared, we saw more photos of Hemingway and his family, as well as several objects that were of great importance to him. However, should one decide to take up residence on your lap, you don’t need to make it leave. We only have FIVE baby Hemingway kittens up for adoption: Ernest Hemingway, Mariel Hemingway, Margaux Hemingway, Hadley Hemingway and Jack Hemingway. The Hemingway cats are free to roam throughout the grounds and inside the house. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. When I visit a house with cats, I can’t wait to pet them and hear that wonderful purr. About half of Hemingway's cats are polydactyl. You can see that the cats … So, while he may have been a good writer, he was clearly a terrible husband! You turn around, and there’s another cat that you are practically tripping over. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. This sweetie was a gift from a sailing captain named Stanley Dexter, a colleague of Hemingway’s who, along with cats, loved the sea. If we’re being totally honest, we mostly just wanted to meet some of the resident cats. Some people like to say that dogs are people’s best friend; however, at the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, a group of special polydactyl cats take the spotlight. Hemingway House Cats. There are 50+ cats in residence in the house. No, but I suppose you could pet them if it came up to you. Apparently when he was alive he had a whole menagerie of animals. It was built by a man named Asa Tift, who was a marine architect and salvage wrecker from Connecticut. The tour of the house lasts about 30 minutes, then you can spend as much time as you wish touring the grounds. 0. His cats’ descendants still roam the property today. We ask that you do not pick up the cats, most are friendly. 'Save the cats! You can visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the cat colony still thrives — and some of the kitties are descendants of Snowball, Hemingway’s original polydactyl. From time to time you run across a cat with extra toes. Our guide told us that six-toed cats are supposed to be good luck in the maritime world, which is part of why Hemingway had so many polydactyl cats in particular. It's not real clear, but I definatly saw a cat walk by. Just relax and enjoy! These Hemingway cats, or in this case Hemingway kittens(! A Weekend in the Bay Area (On and Off the Beaten Path), How to Spend a Long Weekend in Key West, Florida, 6 Presidents’ Day Weekend Getaways from NYC, Follow Visit All the Places on WordPress.com. Mostly, though, we just watched many of them enjoying a good snooze. The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Finally, while you’re welcome to pet the cats, you’re not permitted to pick them up. The tile work in the bathroom was very pretty, and we also learned that the house was way ahead of its time as far as the plumbing was concerned. Prices are $14 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and children under 5 are free. When I visit a house with cats, I can’t wait to pet them and hear that wonderful purr. Simply examine your cat’s paws regularly to make sure they’re in good shape. Be aware that events may be happening the day you wish to visit, which could impact where you can and cannot go on the property. I Was A Hemingway Fan At one point, I also loved Ernest Hemingway, so much that I completed an independent study on him and his writing in my senior year at the University at Albany. The defect is called polydactyl ( many toed ) not disappoint at 6:00 am every day cross! 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