Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hemingway Kitty Cat

What does the title "Hemingway Kitty Cat" mean you ask? Have you ever heard of the term "polydactyl"? It means "many digits" in latin and cats that have extra toes are considered to be polydactyl cats or are also nicknamed "Hemingway cats". Normally, cats have 18 digits, five in the front and four in the back.

The name "Hemingway cats" came from our very own American author Ernest Hemingway who was a big polydactyl cat enthusiast...who knew? His home in Key West is now a museum and houses 60 of his polydactyl cats (which are obviously not alive). If you're curious to know more the topic, click this link! There's a long history of where these cats originated from and where their nicknames came from.

I have only seen one other Hemingway kitty at the shelter before, but she was older and pretty I could never grab her paw to take a picture of it. Our current polydactyl or Hemingway kitty from the shelter is appropriately named Mittens. He is a sweet and friendly kitten that is only 4 months old and has an extra toe on his front paws. I circled the double toe in red so it would be easier to spot. His paws are SO cute and it looks like he's wearing Mickey Mouse gloves on or sporting a huge oven mit. And to top if off he has an absolutely adorable personality, just look at the first and third picture...all he wants is some cuddling! :)

Other nicknames for polydactyl cats according to wiki: Boston Thumb cats, boxing cats, conch cats, snowshoe cats, thumb cats, mitten cats, and six-fingered cats.


  1. One of my best friends has a cat named Sgt Pepper (Nicknames: Peps, Peppy, Sarge) and he has 24 toes. My friend told me it is common here in Boston. And he is ADORABLE!

    1. Aww, they really are adorable! Yeah apparently Boston has the highest population of polydactly cats because they were originally brought in there in the 17th Century from Britain...hence their most popular nickname the Boston Cats!