Yesterday was a very rainy day, so Lara and I decided to go to the Hemingway House.  We had heard mixed reviews of it; some people said that it was 'boring', and not really worth the time or money.  Truth be told, we had originally planned on going to the East Martello Museum, only to find that they had closed early due to a swarming beehive that needed fogging.  Out of ideas, we headed over to the Hemingway House and decided to give it a shot.  
  I'll say this: even if you don't like Hemingway, even if tours of historic houses bore you, the Hemingway House was absolutely worth every penny.
   You see, Ernest Hemingway owned a cat that happened to have six fingers, or if you like, a thumb.
   This original kitty reproduced a lot.  And now, the Hemingway House is home to Forty-Five cats, most of which have thumbs themselves.
  Here you can see Lara playing with a cat that she named Princess Thumby.
  Lara is very protective of this purse.  If you so much as look at it wrong, Lara gives you the evil eye.  If you are a cat, however, you are more than welcome to play with the purse's zipper pulls.  Also, you can clearly see Princess Thumby's thumbs in this photo.
 The cat cemetery, where many cat ancestors are taking their eternal cat nap.  Sorry.
  This place is paradise for a cat.  They have a whole staff of people who look after them, a jungle-like environment to play and hunt in, and lots of areas to snooze.

 Now for some historical stuff.  I guess.  Here is Hemingway's pool!
 And one of those machines where you put in a quarter and it gets smooshed and imprinted with a design.  And look!  A sleeping kitty underneath it!  We later learned that his name is Clark Gable.
  Hemingway's house.  Also note: when taking this photo, I was probably within twenty feet of at least ten kitties.
A kitty looks outside of its home.  

 The guest house.  And another kitty!
 In the cat cemetery, this is a list of the kitties that are no longer with us.
 And several of their gravestones.
 Another kitty!
 A fluffy kitty.
 Another shot of the outside of the Hemingway House.
 Moving inside, here is a picture of his dining room.
 A picture of his bedroom.
 And his very decorative bathroom.
 And another kitty!
 This kitty was helpful enough to display his thumb for me.
 Second floor of the Hemingway House.
 A kitty walking around on concrete that bears the footprints of his kitty predecessors.
 Lara named this guy Sir Regal Marmalade.  Look at his regal face.
 A bridge over a pond in the back yard.
 This is the guest house, though this is where Hemingway actually used to write.

 Another kitty!
 And finally, a staff member at the Hemingway House exposes a kitty to many affections.
 Later on that day, we went to the Key West sunset festival.  Every night along this pier as the sun goes down, people congregate around a variety of performers
  This is Dominique, the Cat Man.  He has trained three house cats to do stunts.  Here he is holding Mandarine.
   This is Cossette.
   Here we see Cossette jumping slightly below the intended hoop.
 And here we see Cossette jumping slightly above it!
 He asked Lara to help him prepare the cat balancing beam.
   George climbs the rope to her perch.

 And here we see Chopin pushing George along.
 Mandarine leaps over George!
  and even more impressively, Mandarine leaps through a tambourine!
 Chopin chose to leap underneath the flaming hoop.  I don't blame him.
 But Mandarine is a true cat daredevil.
 Here we see Dominique at the end of his act, walking around with George firmly affixed to his torso.

What Dominique has been able to accomplish here is remarkable, in my opinion.  Dogs are very trainable when it comes to tricks because they are pack animals, and will do things for no other reason than to make their pack leader happy.  Cats, on the other hand, are not pack animals.  Their sole motivation is food.  And yet, he has them jumping through hoops.

This concludes an entry almost entirely about cats.  Some had thumbs, some performed tricks.  I hope you liked it, and thanks for reading!

-The Blog Tech


Patty Woodland said…
I had a feral litter of poly-dactyl kittens. The one I kept had 7 paws total - two on each of three legs. It was kind of cool. The kittens were very easy to place
Loved your cat post. Sorry the weather has been not so nice for you.
Lois said…
Loved it. My idea of a perfect day. I saw a documentary years ago about Hemmingway and his cats with thumbs, and would love to go. Lucky cats.
Jan said…
What a fantastic post...I loved it all! All of the cats were those thumbs!!!

What a way to live~~~

Anonymous said…
I did enjoy this very much as well as the other posts about the Florida trip, The photos at the aquarium are amazing as well, we had a cat with the thumb toe, do you suppose its a long lost relative, escaped all the way up to us Northerners in Canada???
Sandy Sandy said…
Enjoyed this post as a cat and Hemingway lover!
His cats and their handlers really have it made. The pic of the cat house gave me some ideas for our own resident kitties too. Looks like a fun day. : )
Guillaume said…
I love Hemingway and I looooove cats. Oh I love those cats! I think I want to have a whole menagerie of cats when I become rich and famous, then I will have in my wills that my house turns into a cats shelter when I die.
Guillaume said…
And I am dreaming of course... But I do want a cat.
Me too, pro Hemingway and loved seeing his house, his great dining room. Men that like cats are the best!
ps I feel the same way about my purse as Lara does
Although I am not in the least a Hemingway fan (F. Scott Fitzgerald junkie here), that house tour looked lovely! So many adorable kitties :-)
Dog Trot Farm said…
This is a tour that I have always wanted to take. Thank you for a very informative post, I love the kitties!
I'm not the biggest Hemingway fan in the world, but I'd go see his kitties any day! And how do we know that it's not the REAL Errol Flynn buried under that headstone?
Joy said…
How funny! Grandma was just telling me about her past visits to the Hemingway house bc seeing all the cats here in Istanbul reminded her of that. Enjoy your trip!
Deb said…
Absolutely charming. Loved it!
AutumnRose said…
Who could think of this place as boring?? Outstanding post, great pictures and commentary. Thank you so much for posting.
petoskystone said…
Wonderful post! Loved the iron-work in the house, although, the second thought that occurred to me was 'wow..that's a lot to dust'! ;)
Birgit said…
This is my kind of posts -- lots of cats!!! Thanks for sharing all these amazing photos. So -- thumbs up! :)
jody said…
i love cats have 3 15yr olds i enjoyed your post and of course the history! do you know how lucky you are to have such a great cook for a mom!i think you do cuz you are posting for her! i love her recipes! enjoy your day!
luckybunny said…
Really cool! Loved the pictures and the cats are a riot!