Building where Ernest Hemingway worked on the compound of the Hemingway House in Key West in Florida
Hurricane Irma, the second major hurricane to hit the US this month after Harvey leveled Texas, has pretty much left Florida in darkness. There is widespread destruction, but there is also hope. Contributions are pouring in to help the distressed, and everyone is standing together to get Florida back on its feet. There’s hope for the people, and there is also hope for the animals. In the Key West of Florida, many residents braved out the cyclone, including the seven-toed and six-toed cats that live in the Hemingway Home. ALSO READ: How Long Should a Good Vacation Be? Here’s the Answer!
Once the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, the limestone house stood resolute against the 130 mph winds. And curator Dave Gonzales and manager Jacque Sands of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum decided to stay put along with the 54-odd cats that call the place home. While the museum did lose power, water and access to the internet, Gonzales said that those who sought shelter behind the building’s 18-inch thick walls – human and feline – were safe and sound. Apart from the two, eight other employees remained in the house.
Rare polydactyl orange cat showing large paw with extra toes
The cats are mostly descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cat, famous for having more paws than usual, a condition called polydactylism. As such, they are generally called Hemingway’s cats. The author’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway, had advised residents at the house to get to safety like millions of other Floridans, and get the cats along with them. But the people, and their cats, decided to stay back in a wise move. CHECK OUT: Hurricane Irma Wrecks Florida; Why Is It Happening
Considered an important historic landmark in Key West, the Hemingway Home lies in the western end of the region and was built all the way back in 1851. Gonzales believed that the building, which has survived centuries of storms, would survive this one as well. But Hurricane Irma has been seen as more than just the usual storm that Florida sees every cyclone season. Its 180 mph winds wrecked havoc in the Caribbean islands, and it was a Category 5 cyclone at its peak. After making its way through Florida, it has left millions of people in the state without power and more than 30 dead. In the midst of all this destruction, the tale of these cats’ survival against the rage of the sea is fitting reminder for all to find hope even when all else fails.