54 Hemingway Cats Safe And Sound After 10 Staff Members Stay Behind To Care For Them During Hurricane Irma

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Animals by Paige Cerulli on 09/12/2017

We’re delighted to share that after Hurricane Irma left much of the Florida Keys in devastation, all 54 cats residing at the Hemingway House in Key West are safe and sound.

Source: Instagram

The Hemingway Home Museum announced that all of the cats are safe and accounted for.

Hurricane Irma is far from the first hurricane that the house has weathered. Staff prepared for Irma by boarding up the windows and stocking up on cat food, water, and medicine. Then, 10 staff members stayed in the house during the hurricane to help care for the cats.

Source: Facebook

The area sustained less damage than surrounding areas, and the waters have begun to recede. Until conditions improve, though, both staff and cats are staying inside the house.

Source: Facebook

The house is named after Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had a love of six-toed, or polydactyl, cats. These unusual cats were believed to bring good luck, so sailors often welcomed them onto ships. Many cats ended up in Key West when they arrived there on board ships.

Source: Instagram

Hemingway settled in Key West in 1928. A captain gave him Snowball, his first six-toed cat, and soon Hemingway began taking in other cats, too. His house became home to as many as 50 cats.

Source: Instagram

About half of the people who visit the estate today do so to see the cats. The many feline residents consume about two tons of cat food per year. They have access to nine food and water stations all throughout the property.

Source: Instagram

The house itself is built of 18-inch limestone blocks, and it weathered the storm well. It’s been through dozens of hurricanes, thanks to its solid construction.

Source: Instagram

Meet Joe DiMaggio, one of the residents.

You can find out more about the Hemingway cats on their Instagram account.

(H/T Love Meow)

Have you ever seen a six-toed cat?

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