Cats are known for being able to land on their feet and this fact is certainly true of Hemingway's Cats. Well, figuratively that is. The colony of six-toed cats still live in the home-turned-museum in Key West, Florida. The 50-plus felines weathered the tempest that was Irma with all paws intact -- and maybe just a bit of ruffled fur and a few twitched whiskers..

A Hemingway's Cat
A Hemingway's Cat

Image via Love Meow

As Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the Keys the staff stockpiled 300 pounds of cat food (enough for four weeks) and medicine, and boarded up the windows. Ten of the staff members, including the general manager, stayed behind to shelter with the cats and make sure that the cats remained indoors and were well cared for. There would be no kitty casualties on their watch.

A Hemingway's Cat
A Hemingway's Cat

Image via Meowingtons

The staffers and cats even stayed after a mandatory evacuation order. As they were rounding up the cats to get them inside they found many of the cats rushing inside with little or no prompting. They knew something was coming. To help with their safe passage through the storm the house, the staff, and cats were blessed by Father John Baker.

A Hemingway's Cat
A Hemingway's Cat

Image via Love Meow

Six-toed (and seven-toed) cats are supposed to be lucky and the luck certainly seemed to be with them as the storm hit. The estate sustained less damage that other areas in the Keys.

A Hemingway's Cat
A Hemingway's Cat with Hemingway's Typewriter

Image via Meowingtons

In the aftermath of Irma the staff at the Hemingway Home and Museum confirmed that all of the cats were accounted for. The kitty role call was apparently "taken over" by a cat named Grace Kelly.

A Hemingway's Cat
A Hemingway's Cat -- Grace Kelly Takes Roll

Image via Love Meow

Author Ernest Hemingway moved to Key West in 1928 and soon thereafter was given the gift of a six-toed cat, Snowball, by a sea captain by the name of Stanley Dexter. This led to Heningway's obsession with the polydactyl felines. Six-toed cats are fairly common in the keys due to the centuries of sailors who welcomed the felines on board their ship because of their lucky reputation. Hemingway ended up with more than 50 of the cats. Many of the current cats are descendants of Snowball.

Heningway with One of his Cats
Heningway with one of his Cats

Image via Meowingtons

The cats have free range of the estate when there isn't a hurricane bearing down on them. For their comfort there are nine food and water stations located around the estate. The house where they weathered the storm was built in 1851 and is made of 18" thick blocks of limestone. The place has withstood many hurricanes in more than a century and a half of standing.

According to reports all of Hemingway's cats have all nine lives completely in tact.

Sources: Love Meow, Meowingtons, The Denver Post

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