It’s a Boy!

HemingwayOur household has taken in a new citizen, Hemingway Bond&Rowe the Cat, Polydactyl, LLC, aka Fists of Fury, aka Bigfoot. (Who joins, of course, George Rowe the Dog, Poster Boy for American Values, My Attorney.) I found him online at Petfinder, where these pictures come from and you can see more about him. I should say right now that the Scott County Humane Society does an awesome job (holla, Julia!) at describing the cats’ personalities and taking pictures that capture some of their spirit. (Unlike many of these poor cats, seemingly posed for that Hang In There poster; good organization, but nobody deserves to be snapped at such an unflattering angle.) Hemingway’s had a storied life so far, in just a year and a few months, and we’re his fourth home.

He’s really quite amazing and odd so far, just as his foster family told us he was. He’s apparentlyHemingway2 been hard to place, due to bad luck and freaky, evil people having adopted him previously (one of his adopters PUT LOTION ON HIS FUR TO MAKE IT SOFTER, then brought him back and said he was "mean"). He’s a total sweetie so far, if a little shy. Purrs, purrs, purrs; plays with toys; wants to be petted. He decided to come out from his various hiding places and explore about 2 a.m. last night, and I gamely got up and petted him. Now I am the awake-coma.

The thing about Hemingway is that he’s a true polydactyl. He has very prominent extra toes and he uses his paws like hands. He was opening cupboards and doors and such all night, checking out the joint. A cat with opposable thumbs (more or less): this could mean the end of civilization as we know it. (Definitely the end of any kitchen mousecapades, I’m betting.) Anyway, I’m left happily asking myself how I ended up in a house with three boys.

I’d never heard of Hemingway cats before, but they take their name from Papa, who had a pride of polydactyls and other cats. (This little article talks all about that and the 60 or so cats that still live in the Ernest Hemingway Museum and Home.) It’s a genetic trait, and apparently only a polydact can pass it on.

The impact of all this for you, dear readers, is that Shaken & Stirred will now bow to the grand tradition of Friday Cat Blogging.

*Sorry, Gavin! You were the only thing in the "con" column on the whole getting-a-cat front! And I saw a mouse! And plus, look at that face! How could we say no?

12 thoughts on “It’s a Boy!”

  1. You forgot to mention his penchant for self-narration, something I totally empathize with. Using a pretty impressive vocabulary, he managed to keep us appraised last night: “Hey! Hey! Hey? Hey, I’m coming out from under the guest bed now! What’s this? Is this the kitchen? Hey! I’m in the kitchen! There’s a dog! Hey! Hey dog, wake up! What’s this, is this a cabinet? Can I go in here? Hey! Hey I’m coming in your room now! What’s that, is that a closet door? Can I open it? I CAN open it!”

  2. Oh yeah, there’s another thing we apparently have in common: he can’t keep redshift and blueshift straight. He seems to think that George will get smaller if he _approaches_ at a very high speed rather than the other way around.

  3. I think it’s a scientific fact that black and white cats are the smartest. I’m a little afraid of his polydactyls, though … make sure to hide the car keys.

  4. Aww! Lovely kitty.
    We have been to see Hemingway’s polydactyl cats in Key West. I think it was a mistake to let the cats know they own the joint, but my husband was delighted with the concept.
    Our cats are not polydactyl, but one of them is quite good at opening cabinets and such. After a few times finding a cat curled up in a pot I wanted to cook in, I was less than amused. We now have child locks on the cabinets, as much for the cats as for the toddler.

  5. Huh! Neil Gaiman also has a polydactyl (Fred the Unlucky Black Cat) who talks to himself. Maybe it’s part of the whole syndrome, and they are really planning the world-takeover? Fred needs to get better at it though, since all I hear about him is trips to the vet and heavy doses of antibiotics.
    Congratulations on the new addition, and he looks splendid.

  6. I can see how that would be annoying, Darice! Luckily, we keep most of our frequently used cooking pots on top of the refridgerator, so hopefully he’ll stay off there.
    Thanks, Marrije, Erin and Bridget!

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