fbpx

History Lesson: Hemingway and His Famous 6-Toed Cats on Key West

If you are dreaming of a luxury vacation away from it all – the Florida Keys are a popular destination any time of the year. The exclusive and eclectic Florida island chain offers a great escape with so many unique things to see and do no matter when you vacation in the Keys.

 

One unique way to spend the day in the Florida Keys is to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. In addition to the amazing homesite of the popular writer; is the interesting story of Hemingway’s six-toed cats and why they still live on the property in Key West today.

 

These six-toed cats are called polydactyl. Typically, cats have five front toes and four back toes, so these six-toed cats are incredibly unique. The polydactyl cats are not a special breed at all, and the trait can appear in any breed of cat including Calicos, Tabbies, Siamese, etc. and in any color from tortoise shell to white.

 

Hemingway was given a white polydactyl cat many years ago by the captain of a ship. His cat Snow White was the first six-toed cat to live on the property in Key West. Today, the Ernest Hemingway Museum is home to approximately 50 six-toed cats, with many of them being direct descendants of Snow White that are well cared for by the museum, where they even have their own veterinarian.

 

About half of the cats that live at the museum today have the physical polydactyl trait, but they all carry the polydactyl DNA gene, which means all of them can mother or father six-toed kittens.

 

Hemingway loved Snow White and the other six-toed cats that called his home their own. In fact, the writer named all of his cats after famous people,  so the tradition is still followed today at the home and museum on Whitehead Street in beautiful Key West, and the cats all learn and respond to their names, when called by their favorite caretakers.

 

Explore the Historic Sites During Your Key West Vacation

 

Be sure to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum during your vacation in the Florida Keys! KeysCaribbean offers luxury vacation rentals for your Key West, Florida getaway. From waterfront bungalows and seaside villas to luxury private homes – KeysCaribbean is the key to the Florida Keys vacation rental of your dreams.

Contact Us

"Stay" Safe with KeysCaribbean - Information about what we are doing to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

We’re preparing for a safe re-opening soon (June 1st is our goal date) with additional measures to keep you, your family, our employees, and contractors as safe as possible during your return to our Florida Keys paradise.

1. As recommended by the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, guests shall be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them, including any area where guests or employees queue.

2. During all times in which the usage of masks/face coverings is recommended by the CDC and/or other local health authorities guests and employees or contractor will be required to wear a mask/face covering if unable to maintain 6 ft distance or inside of any building other than the guests rented space.

3. Contactless Check-In. Pre-arrival instructions including a digital door lock code will be emailed to each guest prior to arrival. No need to meet anyone face-to-face before entering the rental space.

4. If not wearing protective gloves, all employees shall follow CDC guidance regarding hand-washing. Employees shall wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, or use sanitizer when a sink is not available, after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, cleaning, smoking, eating, drinking, accepting items from a guest, taking a break, and before a shift and as needed throughout the shift. When possible, employees shall wear gloves for added protection
and sanitation efforts. Proper hand hygiene, in accordance with CDC guidelines, should be followed prior to and after removing the gloves.

5. Cleaning products and protocols shall include EPA-approved disinfectants that meet CDC requirements for use and effectiveness against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens.

6. ULV Fogging between guest stays with EPA-approved, non-toxic disinfectants that meet CDC requirements for use and effectiveness against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. ULV fogging will also be concentrated on non-removable bedding in each rental space.

7. In anticipation of individual concerns of guests, housekeeping shall not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested, or approved, by the guest, or to comply with established safety protocols. Housekeeping shall maintain the practice of cleaning rooms thoroughly following check-out.

8. Professionally laundered linens and towels with the warmest allowable temperature so as not to degrade the quality of the product.

9. Non-emergency maintenance issues will be scheduled after guest departure to reduce contact risks for both our guests and our contractors. If assistance is needed during your stay we will ask for permission to enter the rental space to conduct necessary repairs as timely as we possibly can, however, please keep in mind delays could occur as our contractors do provide services to others outside of KeysCaribbean.

X