Hemingway Museum's six-toed cats purr-fectly fine after Hurricane Irma

  • Hemingway Museum's six-toed cats purr-fectly fine after Hurricane Irma

Hemingway Museum's six-toed cats purr-fectly fine after Hurricane Irma

Florida Keys and western parts of the state bore the brunt of Irma in the USA, with winds of up to 120mph (192km/h).

Despite the pleas from others, Sands remained hunkered down in the house together with the cats and other employees of the museum. "Get in the vehicle with the cats and take off", Mariel Hemingway, daughter of the A Farewell to Arms writer, advised.

"We took them inside that fortress with us and we had 10 employees stay here on site", Dave Gonzales, curator of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum on the island of Key West told broadcaster NBC.

The Hemingway house cats are mostly descended from Snow White, a six-toed cat given to Hemingway by a ship's captain, the museum's website says.

"The cats are accustomed to our voices and our care", he explained of their desire to hunker down rather than truck the cats out of harm's way.

Hemingway lived in the house in the 1930s and continued to visit Key West until his death in 1961, according to the museum.

The Florida Keys' most famous felines are safe after Hurricane Irma battered the sunshine state as a Category 4 storm. "We're comfortable with them; they're comfortable with us".

"I think you're wonderful and an admirable person for trying to stay there and to try to save the cats and the house", Mariel said in a video acquired by TMZ.

"We sit at one of the highest elevations of land in all the Florida Keys", said Gonzales to Forbes.

Sands lives in the main house and sought refuge on the property with 11 staff members while the storm raged. Hemingway said put the cats in the vehicle and drive away. The cats are one of the museum's most popular attractions and spend their days lounging in the home or garden. "The home is constructed of 18-inch blocks of solid limestone", Gonzales said.