Off the Leash Off the Leash

Ernest Hemingway cats lose fight

A catfight in Key West, Fla. comes to a close.

By Vetstreet Dec 20, 2012 4:30PM

A federal court in the Florida Keys decided that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the power to regulate the dozens of cats living at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.

Photo: CNN // One of the Hemingway home's cats lounges in Key West.Some 45 cats, many of them descendants of the six-toed cat named Snowball that the legendary author got as a gift in 1935, have had the freedom to roam for decades. But the USDA demanded several years ago that the museum put up fencing to keep the cats inside the compound.

Fortunately, the cats don't seem any worse for the wear.

"We should all be so lucky to be as happy as they are," said museum chief executive Mike Morawski.

— Watch it at CNN

Photo: CNN // One of the Hemingway home's cats lounges in Key West.

Bing: Hemmingway's best novels.

More from Vetstreet:
Britney Spears, Jimmy Fallon & Taylor Swift’s pets among the 11 top celeb pets of 2012
How many cats are too many for one person to keep?
7 cats who hate wearing sweaters
14 dog breeds you’ve never heard of (but soon will)
Photos: Comfort dogs help the grieving town of Newtown, Conn.

Dec 21, 2012 9:29AM
Isn't it to bad that they don't have the power to regulate the dozens of black and hispanic children being born to unwed mothers in the inner cities of this country as well?

Sorry not a cat lover except for my Chrisotpher Columbus baby we found shivering in the rain a little orange tabby that grew up to be a clown


We lived across the street from a school and Chris would greet the little kids doing all kinds of tricks to get petted


Then Chris got attached to a neighbors white female cat - you do know white cats are deaf - Chris would leave dead baby rabbits at their doorstep and took this young lady safely through the neighborhood


My big old Tom Cat Chris came home many times a wounded warrior - where we pulled someone's talons from his cheeks


Then one night Chis didn't come home - Chicago where temps were below zero - we went and viewed every cat  body found by police and Humane Societies and never found Christopher again - only cat I ever loved

Dec 21, 2012 6:49AM
OMG. Seriously USDA? Pink slime. Animal abuse rampant in the food industry. You choose to waste time and money and resources regulating the Hemingway cats. Oh that's right the Hemingway Museum doesn't pay you millions to look the other way.
Dec 21, 2012 6:32AM
Really? Is the best thing our government offices have to spend their time on? Perhaps we have a candidate for reduction in services...add this to the list of ways we can save on our ever increasing federal budget...eliminate these people from the government payroll, and this agency from the government bureaucracy!
Dec 21, 2012 6:31AM
For God sake leave the cats alone.
Dec 21, 2012 6:19AM
The cats will be safer.  The fence will keep them in and predators out.
Dec 21, 2012 6:14AM
Really, I suppose the cats need to build the fence too.
Dec 21, 2012 6:06AM

As reported here, this is a total non-story.


Add some information about the apparent lawsuit.  Add some information about the fence.  Give us some history.


Jesus.  Is there any such thing as reporting these days?


Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers

  • 6 signs your home is ruled by cats (© Caroline Golon)

    6 signs your home is ruled by cats

    Take a look at your house for these telltale signs that a cat is running the show.

  • 7 signs you're ready to get a dog (© Thinkstock)

    7 signs you're ready to get a dog

    Check out this list of requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.

  • Oliver

    Dogs of the famous

    Much like their famous owners, these pooches live a fabulous life. Some are rescues, others purebred, but one thing is certain – these dogs play an important part in their famous parents' lives. Can you guess who owns each of these dogs?

  • Boy and dog // Boy and dog(Photo: Getty Images)

    What parents should know about pets

    Pets are part of many children's lives. Learn how to help them foster strong, healthy relationships.

  • Cats are relaxed

    14 things that cat owners know to be true

    If you live with a feline companion, you know that cats can be quirky and totally entertaining. (Even if they'd never admit it in a million, trillion years.) Here are just a few of our favorite cat-isms, some with sandpaper tongue firmly in cheek. Did we miss any of yours?

  • Tam Gock\Getty Images

    Is this sneaky ingredient sickening your pet?

    Tummy troubles in your four-legged friends? Carrageenan in their pet food may be to blame.

  • "How to Choose the Best Dog for Your Family" // A groomed poodle laying on a piece of furniture

    How to choose the best dog for your family

    There's more to choosing the perfect dog for your family than walking into a shelter and saying, "Find me one that looks like the dog from Marley and Me." Choosing a dog is more like buying a car. You want one that isn't just good looking, but is also a perfect fit for your family and lifestyle (and won't leak in the garage). Here are 8 great tips to help you determine the perfect pooch for your pack. By Jeremy Greenberg

  • Overstock.com pets

    Overstock.com launches pet adoption website

    CEO says, "it was one of the best ideas of my life"

  • 7 signs you love your dog more than your spouse (© Thinkstock)

    7 signs you love your dog more than your spouse

    Before you jump into marriage counseling, take a look at our list to see if you truly do love your dog more than your spouse.

  • 9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    Spring break: 15 cats and dogs who are having fun in the sun

    Spring break isn't just for humans anymore. Cats and dogs know how to have fun in the sun, too, and would love to tag along on your vacation. In honor of the warm and relaxing days ahead, here are 15 pets catching some rays, going on hikes and floating in the pool.

  • Keep your dog safe: Avoide these 5 common accident-related injuries (© Thinkstock)

    Keep your dog safe: Avoid these 5 common accident-related injuries

    Injuries often happen when dogs are outside chasing tennis balls or playing at dog parks. Because yours needs regular exercise, it can be difficult to protect him from many accidents.

  • 9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best dog for you may be a larger breed. Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Saint Bernards can become a child's protector, adventure buddy and best friend. Check out this slideshow to see nine large breeds that can be good for families.

buzzing now on msn living
family videos
editor's pick