UPDATE: Hemingway’s Six-Toed Cats Remain

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As I mentioned in July 2007 (and again that November), a legal dispute was then raging as to whether the descendants of Ernest Hemingway's six-toed cat Snowball could stay on the grounds of the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.

Snowball's heirs have been rambling polydactically polydactylically polydactishly in six-toed fashion over the grounds of the estate for decades, but in 2002 the U.S. Department of Agriculture started insisting that they be caged at night, that the museum foundation needed a permit to keep them, and other ridiculous things. It threatened to fine the foundation $200 per day per cat (there are about 50) unless it complied.  CBS News reported in 2007 that in the course of the (then) five-year dispute, various USDA personnel had made at least 14 trips (some undercover) to the Hemingway Home to investigate the cat allegations.

The fact that it's located in Key West probably had nothing to do with said trips.

It turns out that the case finally settled in September of 2008, after an independent investigation found the cats appeared to be "well-cared for, healthy and content," although he did suggest a fence be put up to keep them on the property and away from a nearby road. The fence was installed, the permit obtained, and the USDA dropped its complaints. The foundation estimated that the six-year cat battle had cost it $250,000 in legal fees, and "continues to question the need for the permit." In any event, the cats remain.

Not only do they remain, they are now sponsored by Pfizer.