Being a “cat person” comes with an unfortunate stigma. But that was definitely not the case for Ernest Hemingway. The manliest man to ever hit the literary scene had a soft spot in his heart for felines.
One of his companions was a six-toed white cat named Snowball, a white polydactyl kitten that Hemingway received in the 1930s. The kitten was a gift from a sea captain named Stanley Dexter. Sailors favored polydactyl cats, believing they were good luck. Their extra toes enhanced their abilities as mousers and provided better balance on rough seas. They are often called “mitten cats.”
Cats were one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite animals, and here’s a collection of 26 black and white photographs of Hemingway with his beloved pets from between the 1930s and 1950s.