Monday, April 30, 2012

Hemingway's House ... And Cats!

Just look at the toes!!

I really wanted to see Hemingway's house, mainly because of the cats and their uber-freaky toe mutations. Previously, however, Vlad told me that there was no way that he was paying $12.50 to go to some tourist trap overrun with polydactyl felines (it probably doesn't help that the cat is is also his least favorite animal). If I had really wanted to see the famous writer's abode, he said, I should have done it with my mom when I had the chance. Cold hearted, no?. But I managed to trick him into it with the lure of discount tickets that happened to only be $.50 off. There goes the cruising budget.

Then, to compound the horror, I made him go on a guided tour. I think, though no doubt others disagree, that the guided tour has a sort of campy charm. It involves a group of total strangers led around by another total stranger who tells them interesting factoids like how Hemingway's second wife replaced all the ceiling fans with heat-producing chandeliers, leaving the tour guide quite uncomfortable during the summer months. Or something like that. We learned all about Hemingway's affairs, how he broke up his second marriage for a stormy and inevitably doomed romance with a young, blonde reporter in Cuba, his writing and drinking schedule, how his intense depression worsened after Castro stole all his stuff, how he fished and bummed around with locals possibly getting juicy details for his novels. And of course, we stalked cats. I don't think I've ever seen lazier cats. Not a single one moved a six-toed paw the entire time we were on the guided tour.

The sign says not to sit on the furniture, but this cat just has to be the rebel.

More sleeping. 

Hemingway's writing nook.

Nice casa, no? 

So how did Hemingway get all these six-toed cats? Well, they're all the progeny of one prolific animal named Snowball. Snowball was a present to Hemingway's kids, and Hemingway liked the six-toed thing so much he successfully bred more cats with extra toes. It probably helped that he was a cat fancier.

Despite all the trickery and even despite the fact that Vlad kept saying the cats looked inbred, which is tough to argue with but still not polite to point out, we were thoroughly entertained at the Casa de Hemingway. And I got to check out his book collection. Just between us, Hemingway read Steinbeck.



10 comments:

  1. Nice post. We stopped at Hemingway's House a few years ago and found it beautiful also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an incredibly gorgeous place. We liked all the plants the best, and the tour guide was fantastic - knowledgeable, funny and a good story teller. Well worth it.

      Delete
  2. I want a six toed cat now!!! Darnit Hemingway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's got the six-toed cat monopoly, for sure.

      Delete
  3. I think $24 to hang with some cool cats is well worth the price of admission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely agree. I mean, what's the point of traveling if you don't go see six-toed cats? You might as well stay home.

      Delete
  4. That cat looks like it's well on the way to opposable thumbs! I'm sure they are smarter than the average cat, which is why they sleep so nicely. I want one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want one too! Those thumbs make them look like they can use a pencil.

      Delete
  5. So that's why 70 pages of 'Islands in the stream' go on about dang cats in Cuba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knew Hemingway was a cat fancier? Somehow it doesn't fit the image.

      Delete