Thursday, June 21, 2007

From Ernest Hemingway's House

Hemingway's House

One of the highlights of my trip to Key West had to be Ernest Hemingway's house. I have been in love with "Papa" ever since I laid my hands upon "The Old man and the Sea". And the love only deepened with "A Farewell to Arms". As a kid growing up oceans away from here, I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I'll get to visit one of my favorite authors' abode. Life's been kind, is all I have to say.

The Spanish Colonial style home was built in 1851, acquired by Hemingway in 1931 and is now turned into a museum and National Historic Landmark. It is replete with beautiful personal touches of the writer and his wife, Pauline. All rooms have unique chandeliers which replaced the old ceiling fans the house had before its famous residents moved in. The pictures from his personal collection made the $11 ticket worth it.

The shot above is that of his bathroom, one of the very few in town to have had running water at the time. Perfect color for the summer solstice today, eh!!!! ;)

The shot below is for Paul . Meet the lazy Archibald MacLeisch, one of the 60 cats that live in the house. They are all descendants of Hemingway's cats. If you look carefully at the front paws, you'll notice the cat has 6 toes. The story goes that Hemingway made the acquaintance of a sea captain who owned an unusual six-toed tomcat. Upon his departure from Key West, the captain presented the cat to Hemingway. About half of the cats at the museum are polydactyl, which means they have extra toes. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well.And by the way, all 60 of them respond to the names they have been christened with , names like Emily Dickinson, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Charlie Chaplin and Pablo Picaaso :)

26 comments:

Yoda said...

Pablo Picasso the cat??

LMAO!!! That's gotta be one artistic cat :-)

Glad you're back Moi!

Moi said...

wonder if they have been christened based upon some personalty trait of theirs!!! :)

Pat said...

Hi moi! Thanks for posting in my blog today!

Love this bathroom. How lovely! Great cat too.

Anna said...

OK, I am ready to go back to Key West. We stayed at this little B&B called the Conch House. It was wonderful. You are bringing back lots of good memories! :) Thanks Moi!

GMG said...

Glad to see you back, Moi.
Lovely pictures of the Conch Republic. Loved to see Papa's home again. Did you notice the «Fountain» Hemingway brought from Sloppy Joe's Bar?

Nikon said...

Thanks Moi!!
I love the photos - & thanks for thinking of me.
I'd love to get down there - if just to see his photos ( & the cats, of course).
Great tub :)

RUTH said...

Looks like a fabulous bathroom...so stately. This most have been a special moment for you to actually be inside E. H's house! Really interesting story about the 6 toed cats.

Nazzareno said...

Delightful photograph, summons, warm, solar. Ciao!

Still said...

Lovely images of the house of a great author. By the past I have appreciated a lot his novels.
Have a nice weekend.

suramya said...

this is a darling post, I didn't know that you visited hemingway's home, lucky you, hope I get to do that sometime too, its always been a dream of mine to visit james herriot's place, I loved his stories about darrowby. and the cat was so adorable, I did manage to count the 6 toes. I hope there are going to be more pictures of hemingway's house

Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice photos. I like Hemingway too and never been to his home.

I am back from my self-imposed vacation.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Pankaj Gupta said...

wow MOI..you have nicely catched and clicked those wonderful pics..have a good day dear.bye.

Lori said...

He certainly had a nice bathroom. (Is that a light fixture in the front of the photo?) I love the yellow color. And the cat is so sweet! Now I really want to visit Hemingway's home. Thanks for all of that information!!!

Ash said...

Wonderful image, thanks for sharing!

JAM said...

I've never been to key west. The cats have been in the news in Florida for the past year or so. One of the museum's neighbors complained about the cats roaming everywhere, including their property. They've been fighting it out in the courts about either the museum getting the kind of licenses that zoos have or get rid of the cats. Kinda sad that it's all over one moron's complaint.

From USA Today a few months ago: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the museum for violating a 1966 federal animal welfare law, and has threatened to impose stiff fines or confiscate the cats if the Hemingway Home does not do more to control the felines. Department inspectors say that the museum must be licensed as an exhibitor of animals, and that the cats, which sometimes climb over the wall surrounding the grounds, must be confined to the property.

Moi said...

Pat : it was a pleasure to visit ur space......will be back again..and the cats were incredibly lazy..:) i don't blame them though ..its hot down there...really hot!!!

Anna : It's a pleasure :)

GMG : oh, the urinal..i did see it..what a camouflage though...would not have guessed had we not been told so

Nikon. the floor tiles in the bathroom are very pretty too..its such a elegant house.....and i got the address, thank u :)

Ruth : It was, more so coz i have loved the man and his works for a long long time now :)

Nazzareno, Still : Thank u :)

Suramya : i knew u'd love the post......next on my list is Margaret Mitchell's place which is like 6 hrs drive from our city.......and u sure will get to go around soon. and i'd love to see the world u discover :)
the cats were so lazy ....and totally oblivious of all the attention that was being showered on them ...

Mr Lincoln : nice to see u back....:)

Pankaj : thank u and welcome here :)

Lori : i am not sure what it is.....the place is roped, so u can't enter....just admire from a distance. and please do visit the place whenever u make your way down south ...u r not gonna regret coming that far :)

Ash : a pleasure :)

JAM : I am not sure if I appreciate keeping that many in a house but they looked very well cared for and if a part of my 11$ goes into keeping them well fed, and looked after, I don't mind doling out more. I just hope that they really take care of them coz 60 is a big number though cats are pretty independent in their personalities. Thanx for sharing the details. It's always good to know/learn more :)

Kerri said...

What fun to visit Hemmingway's house. That's an awful lot of cats! I can imagine that they might become a bit of a nuisance to the neighbors, which is sad to think of.
Archibald sure is looking lazy. Our cats look just like that when the weather is hot (today has been windy and chilly...not nice!).
The yellow bathroom is so retro. I love all your pictures.
The restaurant colors and the hats...just wonderful. It makes me want to go there! I'm glad you had such a fun vacation.

Jen said...

That is a beautiful bathroom...would love to have that someday:) And I love the story about the cats...I had no idea that there were 60 cats living in Hemingway's house. And that they are all descendants...kinda neat! :)

Faye Pekas said...

What a great place to visit! But 60 cats! It must take a full time person just to keep the cat hairs off of the furniture.

In answer to your question on my blog.. I don't know if the gate is always open. It was just a driveway I saw along a country road and stopped to shoot.

Moi said...

kerri : thanx for finding time to drop by..I know u have busy schedules and u always backtrack too....thats immensely sweet and thanx for all the kind words too :)

Jen : yeah they are pretty strict about the descendant part :)

Faye : i fell in love with the house, and given half a chance, will visit it again :)

Perpetual Procrastinator said...

What an interesting place to visit, especially since you'd had the history of interest in Hemingway!

Also, it certainly looks as if this cat is leading a comfortable, care-free life. :)

Z said...

I've heard about polydactyl cats, but although my family and I have had many cats, we've never had any with more than the usual number of toes. :-)

Ah, that bathroom with the two windows is dreamy! How much nicer might the bedrooms be?!

Moi said...

PP : i enjoyed being there and as i said the personal pics were a delight to go through...it was extremely hot...so most of the cats were cat-napping ;)

Z : hehe.....the bedroom was nice but the bathroom was the most pretty :)

Cris said...

I love touring old houses. That's a nice bathroom and he had a shower back then? 60 cats with names... I can not even imagine!

CG said...

What a beautiful bathroom and a great cat. I enjoyed hearing all about the house and cats, am a Hemingway fan myself

laurel said...

I was there this time last year and I remember thinking how insane it must have been to live in that house with no air conditioning. It was so bloody hot! I'm sure you can appreciate what I am talking about.

And the cats are so cute! I love their little area outside.