Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cats in the news

Controversy surrounding federal attempts to regulate cats at the Hemingway Museum in Key West:
The dispute began in 2003 after a museum volunteer and cat lover filed a complaint with the department after an aggressive cat wandered from the property. The agency concluded that the museum needed to follow federal regulations on exhibiting animals. But the museum argued that the cats are born and bred at the house, that they seldom wander beyond the grounds and that it is Mr. Hemingway’s legacy — not the cats — that serve as the main attraction.

“If we had a six-toed cat zoo, we wouldn’t get those numbers,” Ms. Higgins said.

But the agency disagreed. It sent in an animal behavioral specialist to index the cats and analyze the situation. Undercover agents were then sent in 2005 and 2006 to observe the cats and surreptitiously photograph their movements. One photo shows a gray cat sitting on the pavement. It carries the caption: “Picture of six-toed cat taken in restaurant/bar at end of Whalton Lane and Duval. May or may not be a Hemingway Home and Museum cat.”


  1. I love it when Administrative Law (one of my favorite subjects in law school, and notoriously dry) makes for a funny story. You should look up the Indiana "big cats" case (Hoctor vs. Department of Agriculture, 82 F.3d 165 (7th Cir. 1996)) for a similarly off-the-wall story.

  2. I kan haz kitteh?

    I want to see Hemingway's home for the literary draw, but want one of the cats just because they are adorable!