Periwinkle said they were going to visit the very special polydactyl kitties at the Hemingway house and learn more about them. Both had a moment of sadness when they remembered their polydactyl friend Sammy who had gone to the Bridge a few years ago. They also thought about their friend Ernie from the Island Cats who also has those special paws! Stinky mentioned that Ernie is a regular at the Sunday Selfie hop.As they walked, paw in paw, Periwinkle told Stinky about the cats. "The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is home to approximately 60 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. Cats normally have five front toes and four back toes. About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have 4 and 5 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.
Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. Key West is a small island and it is possible that many of the cats on the island are related. The polydactyl cats are not a particular breed. The trait can appear in any breed, Calicos, Tabbies, Tortoise Shell, White, Black, etc. They vary in shapes, sizes, colors and personalities."