Ernest Hemingway’s Key West house, a museum and home to 59 cats, was impacted during Hurricane Ian but is still intact. Alexa Morgan, a representative for the museum, said in a statement to PEOPLE that the historical building did receive some minor damage and all of the cats who call the estate home are safe and sound. She said, “All is well.” Before the category 4 storm hit the area, all the cats were sheltered on the property and some staff stayed at the house to tend to the animals.
Mariel Hemingway Was Concerned About The House Being Destroyed
Before the storm, Hemingway’s granddaughter, actress Mariel Hemingway, 60, talked to The Daily Mail about her fears of the home being destroyed. “If any of his houses were destroyed the pain and sorrow would be palpable,” she said. “It would be upsetting if any of his houses were affected.” In addition to the Key West home, Hemingway also has homes in Ketchum, Idaho and Havana, Cuba. She also said that her grandfather was passionate about his homes and the communities they reside in.
59 Cats Call Hemingway’s Key West House Their Home
The Key West house is home to 59 cats, many of them being six-toed cats, that all descended from Hemingway’s pet named Snow White. According to the museum’s website, “About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl (six toes) trait, but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have four and five toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well. Sometimes it looks as if they are wearing mittens because they appear to have a thumb on their paw.”
All the cats who live at the museum are named after famous people. Some of the resident cats are featured on the website, and there’s also an app that can be downloaded to see all the furry friends who call the museum their home.
Florida Zoos And Aquariums Prepared For Hurricane Ian By Moving And Securing Their Residents
Many Florida zoos and aquariums had the tough task of securing their animal’s safety prior to the storm hitting their areas. ZooTampa at Lowry Park and Zoo Miami closed on Tuesday so that staff had the time to move animals to better protected areas.
Zoo Miami posted about their closure and plans to keep the animals safe on Instagram saying, “In an abundance of caution, Zoo Miami will be closed to the public on Tuesday, September 27th and Wednesday, September 28th, so that staff can concentrate on ensuring that the zoo and all of its residents are properly prepared should Hurricane Ian produce any significant wind and/or rain in our area.” The announcement continued, “Animals will be secured in their evening holding areas early on Tuesday with their diets and fresh water in preparation for what likely will be an extended period of what will hopefully only be inclement weather but ready for what may be worse.”
ZooTampa moved their larger animals into major storm houses and the smaller animals, such as the zoo’s exotic bird population, into secure ancillary buildings. The zoo’s vice president of marketing and communications, Sandra Torres, told Newsweek that most of the animals are safe in buildings able to “withstand major storms.”
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Clearwater Aquarium Updated Everyone On Instagram
Clearwater Aquarium posted a video on their Instagram page on Wednesday updating everyone captioned, “The CMA ride-out crew have been checking in and spending time with each of the animals to make sure they are all doing well throughout the storm. We hope your crew is safe tonight too!”
They posted a follow-up on Thursday captioned, “We are happy to report that CMA weathered Hurricane Ian with minor damages. Our staff and our animals are all doing well! CMA’s efforts will now shift to helping any animals in the wild that were affected by the hurricane. Our rescue team will deploy to support our stranding network and community of partners. CMA will reopen on Friday at 10:00 a.m. with $5 off admission through the weekend! Come and see Rex and Rudy in their ride out habitat. Your visit helps our mission to continue our work post storm.”
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