How to Make an Ass of Yourself in Front of Ernest Hemingway

While in recently Key West, I HAD to go to visit the Ernest Hemingway house because I knew he was a fellow cat fanatic.  I’d always heard about his love (like love, love) of six-toed cats (often referred to as Hemingway cats but properly known as a polydactyl cat).

As soon as I stepped foot into his house, I knew this was a man after my own feline loving heart…quite possibly my soul mate who just happens to be six feet under (ugh, why couldn’t he be alive? He’d only be like 142 or something).


Captain and Ted.

EH and one of his many loves

Ernie and one of his many loves.

Hemingway received his first six-toed white cat named Snowball from a Captain (um, does this sound like fate to anyone else?!) of a ship and the rest is history.

While the house was gorgeous…


Yes, I could live here with cats galore (or just Teddy, as he’d prefer).


A perfect upstairs wrap around porch from which His Majesty Mr. Bear could reign over the Kingdom .


Teddy and I could throw one kick ass party here. Who wants to come? Cats welcome but none allowed in if they’re prettier than TB…he has a complex.

After EH winning me over with the gorgeous house, I was out on the hunt for some of the descendants of Snowball who still rule the roost here. I muscled my way up to the front in each room, ruining every other tourist’s photos and videos because … well, I’m a crazy cat lady. What can I say?


Perfectly perched on the bar (definitely my kind of cats).


Taking over the bed. All of it.


Hanging in the gift shop. Cat not for sale if you were wondering (because I asked).

I was in some serious feline euphoria, getting ideas for what I should acquire for my own little furry love.

cat house

Once I showed Teddy this cat bar, he demanded I have one constructed for him.

Cat cocktail bar

One bowl for Ted, one bowl for me. I can’t let my bear cocktail alone now can I?!

Teddy was so pissed when he saw that there are actual cat mansions to live in…what kind of diva am I raising?!

Cat Hotel

The future Teddy Bear Manor (or so he thinks).

Everything was all fur and games and I was feeling warm and fuzzy…

Until this happened…


Uh oh…

At first I thought this was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen (further confirming my love of EH).  Each sweet kitty soul has their own gravestone on the property. Which may seem sad to you but my icy heart was melting because this meant that a cat was loved, appreciated and truly cared for during their life here (and yes, I’m a shit show when it comes to cats – and well aware of it).

Kitty cat memorials

Kitty cat memorials.



Memorial wall.

Once I saw the wall of names, I wondered (on accident) how many plaques I would need in a lifetime for my cats. WHAT DID I JUST LET ENTER MY MIND?!?! And then I got closer to this cross with two cats, which reminded me of the first furry love of my life, Nicodeamus and my living, breathing, sometimes way-to-bithcy but I love him anyway Teddy Bear.



After this, all hell broke loose causing rivers of waterworks down my cheeks, snot running from my nose and no f’ing Kleenex in sight.

Crazy cat lady cry

Crazy cat lady cry.

I kept trying to use the inside shoulder material of the black dress I was wearing to stop the faucet my nose had become. I had the cries you get in a really sad movie, where you’re trying to be quiet but you can’t quite catch your breath and I was on this tour alone (cue the song “All By Myself”) when a stranger came up to me and said “Miss, are you OK?”

I wanted to respond with,”Are you shitting me? I’m standing in a mother fucking cat cemetery bawling. Alone. Over cats.” But instead I just said “I have bad allergies,” knowing that this person left my side understanding I was out of my cat loving mind.

At least Ernest wasn’t alive to see my embarrassing display. Only a mere 78 tourists got a front row seat to see me making an ass out of myself.

Can a cat lady get any crazier?!



51 thoughts on “How to Make an Ass of Yourself in Front of Ernest Hemingway

  1. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!

  2. I have “allergies” too. 🙂 Would Teddy even remotely tolerate a brother or sister?

  3. AGIE says:

    AAAWHHHH…. The cat cemetery was so sad. I don’t blame you for crying. I also learned something here..6th toed cats…. had no clue. Great read!

  4. shiroknowes says:

    Love this visit at Ernest Hemingway his house and at the end I was also a little sad but I found it a very sweet idea of the cat cemetery……and it doesn’t matter to show your emotions, Ernest would have appreciate it 🙂

  5. You go girl – be true to yourself!

  6. st sahm says:

    I do NOT like seeing you cry!

    E.H. should feel honored at your stir of emotions. Isn’t that the goal of writers dead and alive?

    • I think you’re right on the writers stirring emotions – never thought of it that way! And as soon as I snapped the picture of myself (can you imagine? I was bawling and taking a picture of myself crying!?) all I could do was laugh! 🙂

  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    You know what would be great?!? (Ok, well maybe not *great* but…) if you had a house like that Hemingway house you could not just be a crazy cat lady but a Hoarder as well!! (you have likely seen the TV show?) You could have cats and cat décor everywhere, and I mean *everywhere*!
    Bathtub? Who needs it? Fill it with cat stuff!
    A bed? Pfft, that’s for wimps. It could hold tons of cats and cat accessories instead!
    Now I strongly suspect that Mr. Bear would so totally not be on board with such a situation, as Jack would not care for it either.
    But some day down the line I see a TV reality show for you along this theme. I would tune in each week for sure! 😀

    • I’m CRYING from laughter. I would be the best cat hoarder EVER. Although I would be absolutely fraught with worry that I wasn’t paying enough attention to each of the one million cats that I would take in. I just imagined Ted’s face upon seeing that his life has been taken over by 1,756 cats.
      But a bathtub (I almost just wrote cat tub) full of cats sounds like heaven and TV, cops and ASPCA would be knocking my door down. Bring it!

      • Phil Lanoue says:

        Speaking of cops…I could just see you on an episode of the TV show COPS. They pull up at your house and you come waltzing (well maybe staggering) out holding a Skinny Pirate in one hand, and Ted under your other arm screeching…what the hell do want?! Get outa here!
        Of course to make it all complete you would need to be tattooed and have a ciggy in the drink hand as well. Any males on the scene would naturally have to be shirtless, and holding a beer and a cigarette.

      • Well, naturally since I live in Tennessee, it would take all of 12 seconds to find shirtless men holding a beer and cigarette. They probably also come complete with the biggest beer bellies ever. And you got the scene correct – I would swagger, screech and then let Teddy throw the biggest hissy fit ever (and I would follow right behind him). God, we’d make great reality TV!

  8. kellisamson says:

    I love Ernest, too, but I think for very different reasons :). You poor kitty mama! This reminds me of my dad, who loved his cat Molly so much that no card, letter, or gift was from just “Dad and Judy (stepmom)”, but also from “Molly.” And, when Molly died after about 17 long years of out-shining me (haha!), he had a marker made for her grave, which was in the woods on the side of the boardwalk to our rather nice outhouse at our cabin. I threw one kick-ass 4th of July party there at the end of college, and I’ll never forget my friend Ryan running back to the cabin, distraught and disturbed, pleading, “Um, Kelli, who is Molly?”

    • OMFG! That is HILARIOUS about Ryan asking who the heck Molly was. I am definitely kindred spirits with your father over cats! Ted’s name goes on every gift and card I give and he’s often more spoiled than yours truly from his grandparents. I really love that your dad make a grave marker for Molly – he’s channeling EH!

  9. Randall says:

    Your so funny Cross Bones!! I never new there was a cat cemetery.

    Hope you stop by our blog Fun with food ( ).

    Thanks for sharing your trip to the Islands with Us!!.


  10. Nancy says:

    Oh my gosh, I just looked over at my Simon, all purring and preciousness, and I had a moment. Like, a serious moment. I’m glad he can’t read. He just thinks I’m randomly crying over nothing, which is often par for the course.

Holla at me!

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