Portraits of Hemingway’s
Six-Toed Cats

August 12, 2014 | Marina Galperina

Ernest Hemingway had a soft spot for six-toed cats. Even after his death, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida is teeming with fifty-five of these furry polydactyls, descended from Snowball, a horny six-toed cat given to Hemingway by a sea captain. 

Photographer Henry Hargreaves recently travelled to the museum, and despite his allergies, shot regal portraits of the cats on pedestals against pastels.

They take direction from no one! I’m actually a little allergic to cats, I didn’t think this would be an issue as we were shooting outside and I only had access for an hour, but after the hour my right eye had swollen so much it had practically closed over which is why I’m not looking at the camera in my portrait with the cat.

The cats are continued to be named after writers and other famous people. Hunter S. Thompson is a particularly uneasy-looking feline, but they all seem to be having a nice life. Too rare to die… and living — weird and comfortable.

Hunter S Thompson

(Photos Courtesy Henry Hargreaves)