Hemingway’s House and His Cats
On our second day in Key West, we walked around the corner to the Hemingway house. Ernest Hemingway had lived in Key West and wrote A Farewell To Arms while living here. Upon paying the $12 to get in, we immediately noticed all the cats that we were told would be there. About half of the cats are polydactyl which means they have an extra toe. Hemingway was given a cat with the extra toes by a ship captain and many of the cats on the property are direct descendants of that original gifted cat. They have 45 cats on the property, and we saw many of them. They were friendly for the most part but have grown bored by all the tourists, I believe. They had free run throughout the property and the house as you can see in the below photos. All the cats have names and are well taken care of. If you want to find out more, check out the Hemingway House’s webpage here. We stayed on the grounds for a couple of hours and caught bits of pieces of the tours that were given throughout our time on the property. There were definitely some interesting stories being told.
Hemingway’s Wife at that time replaced his boxing ring with a pool while Hemingway was covering the Spanish Civil War. Don’t feel too bad for him, he took his mistress to cover the war with him and while he was gone, his wife decided to spend $20,000 on the pool. This was a little bit more than Papa Hemingway had wanted her to spend. After seeing the pool, Hemingway threw a penny into the pool telling his wife that she was going to take his last penny. That penny was taken out of the pool by the wife and cast into the cement walkway near the pool house.
Hemingway took this urinal when they were doing renovations at his favorite watering hole, Sloppy Joes. His wife at the time added the Spanish tile and turned it into a watering hole for the family cats.
JJ and I really could have stayed at the house longer. There were tables set up through out the garden where you could take a rest and just watch the cats. The house can be toured rather quickly but I suggest taking your time to stroll the gardens and spend some time just soaking in the atmosphere. If you ever find yourself in Key West, a stop by the Hemingway house is a must.