|Side Wall of the Hemingway House Grounds|
|Cat in the Ticket Booth|
This friendly feline was helping to greet visitors in the ticket booth. Ernest Hemingway liked cats and was particularly fond of those cats with a mutation that gives them six toes. The more scientific name is a “polydactyl” cat. He had somewhere between 40 and 60 living on the grounds of the house while he was there, and the people who take care of the house now keep the population also around 40 to 50 cats. Interestingly, each cat’s birth is recorded, so each of the cats currently residing at the house has its own genealogical record. The cats are everywhere on the grounds and the house and the staff works hard to keep them happy so the cats will stay there. (This was the one spot in Key West where we didn’t see any roosters; the roosters in Key West are ubiquitous, but not stupid!)
|The European Chandelier|
|A Cat Asleep in the Master Bedroom|
|Second Floor Bookshelves|
|View from the Upper Veranda|
|The Writing Studio|
Behind the house is what used to be a coach house and barn. When the Hemingways moved into the house, they converted the top floor into a writer’s studio, the first one Ernest Hemingway had. He was a very disciplined writer and would go out there every morning to write.
|One of Hemingway's Typewriters|
|Cat in the Writing Studio|
One of the cats had found its way into the writer’s studio (human visitors can only view the studio through a piece of clear plastic, but the estate owners left an opening large enough in the bottom of the barrier for the cats to get in.) He or she looked quite comfortable.
|Cat Feeding Area|
Since I was there as a tourist, and not as a blogger, I forgot to take a picture of the pool, but it is a beautiful salt water pool put on the grounds by Pauline. It cost $20,000 to build in the 1930’s. The dollar equivalent today I cannot even begin to calculate. The reason it was so expensive is the hard coral bedrock of the island. It took an extraordinary amount of manpower to excavate the bedrock out in order to put the pool in. According to the tour guide, Pauline put the pool in while Ernest Hemingway was off on a trip somewhere. When he came back, he tossed a penny in the pool, telling her that she might as well have his last cent, too. The same penny now is covered by plexiglass on the pool deck.
The Hemingway House is not the only famous residence in Key West, but it is a unique memorial to a giant of American literature. If you get the chance, be sure to stop by!