Friday, July 14, 2017

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (64)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), or pictured with a cat(s).

You may have seen my post about the technical difficulties on the blog because of the evil Photobucket, but if you have not seen it, please excuse any image issues on the blog. It's going to take me a while to fix everything, as I have 7+ blogs to work on. Oh me. 🙀

How can we have an authors and cats post in July without honoring Ernest Hemingway, celebrated author and renowned cat lover, in the month of his birth (July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961)? We can't...that's how!

The following is about the book, Hemingway's Cats by Carlene Fredericka Brennen:

In 1943 Ernest Hemingway, living in Cuba with his third wife and eleven cats, wrote to his first wife:

"One cat just leads to another. . . . The place is so damned big it doesn't really seem as though there were many cats until you see them all moving like a mass migration at feeding time. . . ."

He always took great pleasure in writing to his family about his cats and how they were getting along. Family and pets played an important role in Hemingway's life, revealing a softer side to his character than is usually portrayed by the macho image of the hunter and fisherman. His pets were mostly cats - the number at Finca Vigia, his Cuban home, at one time swelling to fifty-seven. He called the cats "purr factories" and "love sponges" who soaked up love in return for comfort and companionship.

It is impossible to write about Hemingway's cats without also telling the story of his family life, particularly the women he loved. From the many cats he grew up with at his childhood homes in Oak Park, Illinois and Walloon Lake, Michigan, to his last cat, Big Boy Peterson, in Ketchum, Idaho, Hemingway sought the companionship of cats. Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, had Feather Kcat in Toronto and the gentle F. Puss in Paris, who, according to Hemingway in A Moveable Feast, served as babysitter for his first son. Hemingway settled into his home in Key West with Pauline, his second wife, and a good many six-toed cats from next-door - the descendants of whom still roam the house and grounds on Whitehead Street. Of Hemingway's four wives, only Pauline, who was not a cat fancier, did not acquire one of his fond nicknames: Kat, Kath, Cat, Feather Kitty, Katherine Cat, Kitten, or Kittner.

It was his third wife, Martha, who convinced Hemingway to buy Finca Vigia, the Cuban farm with many buildings - and many stray cats. There Hemingway brought in the elegant Persian Princessa, the adopted strays Willie and Dillinger (aka Boise and Brother), and the Angora Good Will. From the mating of Princessa and Boise, many litters ensued.

Dogs also found their way into Hemingway's homes, beginning with Wax Puppy, whom he got for Hadley when they were first in Paris. In Cuba he adopted several small mixed-breed dogs with curled tails. One in particular, Negrita, stole his heart. Mary, his fourth wife, loved the animals at the Finca, and it was on a trip to Idaho with Mary that they acquired Black Dog, a springer spaniel who went back to Cuba with them to join the sea of cats and dogs.

All his life Ernest Hemingway surrounded himself with cats and dogs and sought their comfort during times of loneliness and stress. They appear in many of his writings, particularly in A Moveable Feast, Islands in the Stream, The Garden of Eden, and True at First Light - all written late in his life and as close to autobiography as he came.

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  1. We were just talking about going to Key West and seeing Hemmingway's home and some cats!

  2. Our cat who died last year Wolfgang was a polydactyl cat and we was the sweetest. We miss him so much. What a wonderful post on Hemingway and his cats and dogs!

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