Thursday, September 8, 2011
Just a quick post to introduce you to the baby of the house. "Ernie" is a polydactyl cat with extra toes on each of her paws. She actually has little "thumbs" on her front feet which makes her two times the menace of the other cats ~ she can open drawers and latches like a person! I'm baby-proofing several cabinets now. I did try to get a better photo of her feet, but she kept swatting at me so I'll wait until the monster is asleep for that. You can see a bit of her thumb in the second photo.
As for her name, it obviously stems from a beloved and well-known figure in American history. What isn't quite as well known is that the Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway had a his house full of these "abnormal" polydactyl cats. In fact, even decades after his death his home in Florida is still a haven for the descendants of his original six-toed cat that he received as a gift from a ship's captain.
These type of cats are said to be much more common on the East Coast than here in the West. I personally hadn't come across one until we adopted Ernie after someone dumped her at our non-pet friends' house. At the time we had a hard time telling if she was indeed a girl, so I called her Ernie and Mr. MoonCat was calling her "Hemi". Got a little confusing since we already have a "Hammy" in the house.