Ernest Hemingway was celebrated in life as a great writer, lover, sportsman, adventurer and rebel-rouser. What is less well known is that he was also a renowned cat lover. He was given a 6 toed cat, Snowball, by a ships captain who came to visit him in Key West.
Soon Snowball had a litter of Polydactyl gene carrying cats, who Hemingway named after famous people of his time. Just as the Hemingway legend continues to grow after his death so does the celebrity named, 6 toed, 55 cat colony at his home turned museum.
Having visited the island the previous year to photograph the very male contestants of the annual Hemingway look-alike contest I was intrigued by the story of a softer side to Hemingway and gained permission for a companion shoot. I decided to use a contrived portrait setting befitting their genetic and celebrity heritage. Like their famous name sakes some of the cats lapped up the attention while others fled from the set like they were being chased by Paparazzi. The results are fun, interesting and a little surprising.
Shot at the Hemingway Home and Museum. Key West, FL. Written and Photographed by Henry Hargreaves.