The terrible toes

The terrible toes

Confusion is not known as a great beautifier.

Case in point: the evolution of Hemingway.

The importance of being Hemingway.

You can’t blame this king-sized marshmallow for being mystified. Call a cat “Hemingway,” and you’re all but announcing to the world that he comes bearing extra toes. Everyone from Ringoes to Key West knows that the Hemingway cats are famed for their toetacular abundance.

It’s a true fact; the generations of cats descended from Ernest Hemingway’s feline family are blessed with extra digits. Where a “normal” cat (as if there were such a thing) has only four toes per front foot and five per back, Hemingway cats and other polydactyls have…more. Sometimes a whole buncha more.

Not so Hemingway.

Here, you might make a credible enough argument. The Winnebago-sized white cat is named “Hemingway,” not “Hemingway Cat.” Ernest Hemingway had many excesses — wine, women and wit, for starters — but extra fingers and toes were not among them. Ergo, a cat named for the commanding writer need not, ought not, should not have spare parts.

Credible enough.

“Memo to the Old Man and the Sea: produce for me ten thousand calamari, and I will write about you gloriously.”

Not to Hemingway.

In fact, it’s the same argument Hemingway heard from his unfortunate neighbors in Suite C. In response to their reassurances and remarks that he shouldn’t expect to have extra toes, he wrote a rather dark tale.

That is, he pummeled the polyester out of them, hollering, “THEN WHERE’S MY PULITZER PRIZE?!”
ALL of them.
ALL of the days and hours and minutes.

Hemingway’s confusion led to (outrageous, obscene, make-Tarantino-squirm) violence.
Hemingway’s violence led to terror.
Hemingway’s terror led to cats fighting back. And by “fighting back,” I mean “fleeing his wild wrath as fast as felinely possible, kicking Hem in the face with their (normal-toed) back feet and claws on the way.”

“Scarface was never this adorable.”

And so it was that simple confusion over toe count led to a larger-than-average collection of scars on Hemingway’s heavenly face. The skritches and scratches tell the tale; this cat has clobbered and been clobbered. Beatdowns have been dealt daily.

Suffice to say, all hands and fingers and toes are on deck to heal Hemingway’s hurts genocidal tendencies.

In the best-case scenario, Hem will hogtie the heart of an AwesomeAdopter with extra helpings of love and zero other cats at home. This is highly possible. After all, Hemingway is equipped with not only the handsomest of all faces, but also a personality as pure and perfect as the ultimate papa.

When it turns towards humans, that is.

But, if Hemingway’s homegoing is delayed, we’ll remain undaunted. Like it or not, our big, beautiful brawler will be bidding a farewell to arms. We’ve got the best dang feline behavioral consultant in the world on the case; we’ve got big, bountiful behavior meds on board; and we’ve got a movable feast that keeps Hem crated during “stressful moments” (e.g. breakfast, dinner, and the ever-maddening morning cleaning).

“NOW BRING FORTH MY PULITZER! Or at least the calamari.”

Hem is home at Tabby’s Place, dangit, and we’re his family, dangit, and all shall be well. Even as angst amps up, the sun also rises on his complicated heart. We’ll be here — loving him, healing his scratches, and tenderly kissing his just-enough toes — every dawn until adoption day.

1 thought on “The terrible toes

  1. Hemingway is here to remind us that you don’t always need extra cats or extra toes to experience the full love of the cat experience. If you have one special glowing big personality cat entity to give love and wonder to your daily – sometimes that is more than enough to give glory to your life. Hemingway!

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