The Hemingway house in Key West, Fla., would like federal regulators to leave its six-toed cats alone. What? You didn’t realize that your bureaucratic overlords keep an eye on well-fed museum cats, for the safety and wellbeing of the American people and their pets? NYT:
The dispute began in 2003 after a museum volunteer and cat lover filed a complaint with the department after an aggressive cat wandered from the property. The agency concluded that the museum needed to follow federal regulations on exhibiting animals. But the museum argued that the cats are born and bred at the house, that they seldom wander beyond the grounds and that it is Mr. Hemingway’s legacy — not the cats — that serve as the main attraction.
“If we had a six-toed cat zoo, we wouldn’t get those numbers,” Ms. Higgins said.
But the agency disagreed. It sent in an animal behavioral specialist to index the cats and analyze the situation. Undercover agents were then sent in 2005 and 2006 to observe the cats and surreptitiously photograph their movements. One photo shows a gray cat sitting on the pavement. It carries the caption: “Picture of six-toed cat taken in restaurant/bar at end of Whalton Lane and Duval. May or may not be a Hemingway Home and Museum cat.”
No one has explained what the regulators were seeking at that latitude. (Hemingway allusion!)