The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that the government does have the power to regulate the dozens of cats that live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Fla. — a notion the attraction has fought for years. [snip]
Some 250,000 visitors flock to the site each year to experience the house where the famed American writer lived from 1931 to 1938 and see the polydactyl (six-toed) felines whose company he enjoyed.
When he lived in the house, Hemingway — a famous cat lover — cared for a white polydactyl cat named Snowball that was given to him by a ship’s captain. Snowball’s offspring and other felines have been roaming the grounds ever since without much controversy. Court documents note that the museum has always kept, fed, and provided weekly veterinary care for the Hemingway cats, and spayed or neutered most of them “to prevent population beyond the historical norm of 50–60 cats.”
“They’re very much an important part of the history of the property. We want people to come and see it the way it was when Hemingway was here — to see it the same way he saw it, with the 50 cats running around the property,” said Dave Gonzales, a spokesman for the Hemingway Home & Museum, in a promotional video for the attraction posted on YouTube.
“Every corner you take on this acre of land, you’ll find a couple of cats either snoozing or eating or lapping up some water off the cat fountain.” (continue reading at TodayTravel)
Hubby and I have been to visit Hemingway's home on more than one occasion. The cats are an integral part of the experience. They are all well cared for and apparently perfectly happy, living pampered lives.