Key West’s Hemingway Museum v. US Government Over Famed Six Toed Cats

Ernest Hemingway Key West
Island Genn posing next to a sculpture of Ernest Hemingway in Key West, FL

Is nothing sacred anymore? Hemingway was arguably the most famous resident that the island ever had. And about 250,000 people per year come to the island and visit Hemingway’s home which is now a museum. Part of the allure of visiting the house are seeing the descendants of Hemingway’s six-toed cats that roam freely around the property.

The cats are well fed and obviously happy. But back in 2003, a museum visitor complained about the cats to the U S Department of Agriculture, and that complaint led the USDA to declare the museum an Animal exhibit, making it subject to federal regulations under the Animal Welfare Act. That means the museum staff will have to cage up each of the 50 or so cats that call the house home nightly. They also have to tag each cat for identification purposes. And if the museum staff do not comply they will be fined.

In my opinion, this is just another example of the government getting involved in someone else’s business, and it clearly does not belong there. I hope that the museum appeals to the US Supreme Court.

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West, be sure to read my  other restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our restaurant reviews.

To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!


Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

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