All 54 six-toed cats living in Ernest Hemingway’s home in Key West, Florida are reportedly safe after the area was hit by Hurricane Irma.
The cats – most descendants of an actual polydactyl cat owned by Hemingway – were living in the novelist’s house that was turned into a museum after his death.
Authorities issued a full evacuation of the Florida Keys as the life-threatening hurricane was approaching Florida last week, but Jacque Sands, the general manager of the home and museum, refused to leave, claiming she has the responsibility to look after the house and the cats, the New York Times reported.
This prompted Mariel Hemmingway, one of the writer’s granddaughters, to publicly ask Sands to “get in the car with the cats and take off” to avoid what could have been a life-ending hurricane.
“I think you’re wonderful and an admirable person for trying to stay there and to try to save the cats and the house,” she said in a video acquired by TMZ, adding that “this is frightening. This hurricane is a big deal.”
Despite the pleas from others, Sands remained hunkered down in the house together with the cats and other employees of the museum. Dave Gonzales, the house’s curator, confirmed Monday that all the six-toed cats survived the storm.
“When we started to round up the cats to take them inside, some of them actually ran inside knowing it was time to take shelter,” he said, according to the Times. “Sometimes I think they’re smarter than the human beings.”