Ernest Hemingway had a thing for polydactal cats. In fact, his home, now turned museum, in Key West, Florida, is home to a colony of the multi-toed felines. The website shares, ” 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. Cats normally have five front toes and four back toes. About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have 4 and 5 toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well. Sometimes it looks as if they are wearing mittens because they appear to have a thumb on their paw.”
Many of the cats are descended from the original white polydactyl cat, Snowball, that was given as a gift to Hemingway by a ship’s captain. Hemingway loved to name his cats after famous people and the tradition continues to this day.
If you find yourself curious to learn more, check out 7 Things to Know About Polydactyl Cats, from VetStreet.