Looking for Cats at Hemingway’s Home

The Ernest Hemingway home was a non-negotiable thing on my list of places to see when we were in Key West, Florida.  I am an avid reader and I taught Old Man and the Sea for five years to ninth grade students.  For four weeks each year, we lived Ernest Hemingway as a class.  Lucky me, I got to discuss the book five times a day during the four weeks.

I was worried that one more tour of an old house would make my kids rebel but we were going anyway.  We paid the entrance fee and started to wander.  Little did I know that both of my children would be entertained the entire hour we explored the grounds of the Hemingway home.

By cats.  Lots and lots of cats.

My 5 year old daughter immediately spotted the cats and asked in wonder why there were so many cats around.  I told her the story about Hemingway’s cats and that there are over forty cats that live on the grounds.

We talked about how many of them are polydactl, which means that they are six-toed cats.

While I explored the Hemingway home and gardens, my children counted cats.

It was one of the most peaceful hours of the entire week-long trip.



  1. 1

    The Hemingway House was on my list of non-negotiable items as well, but then it got negotiated. To be honest, I just wanted to see the cats, but the house looked beautiful. Was the inside as interesting as the outside looked?

  2. 2

    When asked what the best thing she saw in Europe was, my then 5yo said “The cats in Venice.” Maybe we should go to Key West next? Thanks for a fun post with great pictures.

  3. 3

    Must admit I’m not a huge fan of Hemingway’s writing, but he was such an interesting personality, good, bad, never boring. We stopped by his house in Key West, too, and loved the cats. And the pool 🙂

  4. 4

    Hemingway’s House has long been my list. Everyone in my family will love touring with cats along the way.