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Hemmingway Cats

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering who else has Hemmingway cats. I have a 2 year old male with 7 toes on his front feet and six on his back. He's name is 7.
post #2 of 23
Don't have one, but if a polydactyl calico ever crosses my path...well, let's just say I'll be one cat closer to spinsterhood!
post #3 of 23
My Molly was a poly calico!
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
My Molly was a poly calico!
post #5 of 23
My little Ariel is a polydactyl. She has 6 toes on each paw!
post #6 of 23
What exactly classifies them as Hemmingway cats? My Tiger was and now Olivia too, are both polydactyls. Not calico though. Tiger was a gray tuxedo and Olivia is just something else!
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by emsteve
I was just wondering who else has Hemmingway cats. I have a 2 year old male with 7 toes on his front feet and six on his back. He's name is 7.

i haven't got one, but i think they are very fascinating and wonderful. Does yours have thumbs, or just extra normal digits?
post #8 of 23
I have two at the moment- we also had a border collie one time who had 21 toes, we called him BlackJack
post #9 of 23
My Angel had extra toes. It is a very bad fault so we fixed her.
post #10 of 23
I don't, but apparently there are still many polydactyl cats living on Hemingway's estate, which stem back to a cat he received as a gift.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacat
I don't, but apparently there are still many polydactyl cats living on Hemingway's estate, which stem back to a cat he received as a gift.
My Mom and I got to see a lot of thoes cats when we stoped there on a cruise before. There was an awesome cat shop in town too! The lady had like 2 or 3 of her cats in there. It was too bad I didn't have more money because I loved the place!
post #12 of 23
I do! I do! Mandarin has toes that go on forever!!
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoochNNoodles
My Mom and I got to see a lot of thoes cats when we stoped there on a cruise before. There was an awesome cat shop in town too! The lady had like 2 or 3 of her cats in there. It was too bad I didn't have more money because I loved the place!
That would have been pretty cool to see. We used to have a great cat shop here in Toronto, in Yorkville, though I haven't been in ages. I guess I should check it out.
post #14 of 23
Our Polly is a polydactyl, she has 7 toes on the front, with "thumbs" and 6 on the back.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by menagerie mama
Don't have one, but if a polydactyl calico ever crosses my path...well, let's just say I'll be one cat closer to spinsterhood!
post #16 of 23
Our Polly (poor guy has a girl's name, but he doesn't seem to mind!) is a polydactyl as well, with an extra toe on each of his 4 paws!
post #17 of 23
I'm curious as to what causes this trait. I always assumed that it was inbreeding. The reason I've always thoutht this is that when I was a child my uncle had 23 barn cats one summer. Many, if not most of them had extra toes.
post #18 of 23
I loved Tiger's thumb toes! She used to sit on my bed with me when I would be doing my homework. If I didn't pay enough attention to her she would use her paw to grab the pen from my hand! She always made loud clicking noises when she'd walk across the floor too. We used to say she had heels on!
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
I'm curious as to what causes this trait. I always assumed that it was inbreeding. The reason I've always thoutht this is that when I was a child my uncle had 23 barn cats one summer. Many, if not most of them had extra toes.
from the ernest hemingway website..

Q. Are the extra toes (polydactylism) caused by inbreeding?
A. Yes they are, putting aside the possible negative connotations, close relationship is the strategy behind cat breeding programs which concentrate on a particular trait. For example, the Siamese breed originated from a pair of cats brought to America around 1890. They became very fashionable in the 1920's and inbreeding caused ill health, so breeders were forced to use more care in mating selection, which results in the breed as we know it today. The cats here on the grounds who are allowed to reproduce do have the polydactyl gene, however.


i noticed that the caretakers of the house dont spay/neuter all the cats as they like to have descendedants of the orginals hemmingway cats around. dont know if i agree with this.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
from the ernest hemingway website..

Q. Are the extra toes (polydactylism) caused by inbreeding?
A. Yes they are, putting aside the possible negative connotations, close relationship is the strategy behind cat breeding programs which concentrate on a particular trait. For example, the Siamese breed originated from a pair of cats brought to America around 1890. They became very fashionable in the 1920's and inbreeding caused ill health, so breeders were forced to use more care in mating selection, which results in the breed as we know it today. The cats here on the grounds who are allowed to reproduce do have the polydactyl gene, however.


i noticed that the caretakers of the house dont spay/neuter all the cats as they like to have descendedants of the orginals hemmingway cats around. dont know if i agree with this.
Thanks for the info!
post #21 of 23
I heard all the poly cats at the Hemingway museum are descendants of the orignal beloved Hemingway poly cat. I think that is way cool. They get to roam the property and "own" it, as they should be entitled too!

I had a roommate who had an Orange Tabby poly cat - I loved his big feet! I read that all poly cats are originally from New England for they came over during colonial times on the ships that landed in Boston. The orange tabby was from New England, and he is the only one I've seen ever in my neck of the woods.
post #22 of 23
They are not neccessarily related at all. It is a common mutation. The only reason inbreeding causes it is because there is also a bad gene that causes it. When this gene is present, being bred to another with the gene will give problems. But the other gene is harmless, and aside from disqualifying the cat from showing, it is totally indifferent. Basically, polydactyls are healthy cats.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacat
I don't, but apparently there are still many polydactyl cats living on Hemingway's estate, which stem back to a cat he received as a gift.
I recently visited the Hemmingway estate....there are hundreds of cats wandering around the property, the vast majority of which are polydactyl. They're also mostly long hairs...must get hot in those Key West summers.

Beautiful, beautiful cats though. A lot of calicos, too
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