Good news in Key West: the historic Ernest Hemingway House survived hurricane Irma with little damage, and its resident 54 polydactyl cats are safe, sound, and cared for, thanks to a handful of dedicated staff members.
Ten employees chose to remain behind to care for the kitties, despite frightening predictions of dangerous weather, along with urging from actress Muriel Hemingway, the late writer’s granddaughter, to pack up the cats and evacuate.
The actress begged manager Jacqui Sands in a video posted by TMZ:
“I think you’re wonderful and an admirable person for trying to stay there and to try to save the cats and the house…This is frightening. This hurricane is a big deal…get in the car with the cats and take off.”
Hurricane Irma: Staff at Ernest Hemingway house defy Florida evacuation order and hunker down with author’s famous… https://t.co/JdHgxL9SdL pic.twitter.com/EcrTYvvQ0F
— NewsReddit (@NewsReddit) September 10, 2017
But staff members had faith in the structure’s thick limestone walls, and decided to wait out the storm with the kitties rather than displace them. Thankfully, it all worked out!
Although the brave crew has no electricity, water, or internet due to the hurricane, they were prepared for the worst. They’re fully stocked up on food, water, and medical supplies, plus they have a generator running for power.
Listen to an interview with one of the cat caretakers:
WATCH: Curator: Hemingway House in the Keys is intact — and the 54 six-toed cats are safe — after Hurricane #Irma. https://t.co/MwjXQqHx9Z
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 11, 2017
We are thrilled that everyone is okay, and commend the brave employees for staying behind to care for these well-loved cats!
Best news of day- all 54 cats @ernestHemingwayHouse safe & inside! pic.twitter.com/pn4D9PWInc
— Ann Marie Hoff (@Annimallover) September 10, 2017
(h/t: The Mercury News / TMZ)