Hurricane Ian Lashes Ernest Hemingway’s Key West Home, All 59 Cats Survive

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty images)

Although Hurricane Ian ripped through Key West and caused significant damage, Ernest Hemingway’s home reportedly still stands and all 59 cats survived. 

TMZ reports that Ernest Hemingway’s famous Key West home has debris around it after Hurricane Ian came through. However, the nearly 60 cats that live there and around the area are safe and sound. Alexa, who is a rep of the Hemingway house told the media outlet that the estate is dealing with the storm’s aftermath. This means the staff is cleaning all the trees and leaf debris. 

It was also reported that the structure of the 1930 estate was not damaged by Hurricane Ian. The home is where Ernest Hemingway notably wrote roughly 70% of his published works. Alexa said that the cats living there were sheltered on the property before the storm hit the area. Some of the staff also stayed on-site to care for the animals as well. 

TMZ further reports that the cats are significant to the Ernest Hemingway estate. The famous author started the cat colony when a sailor gave him a six-toed cat. Some of the felines that live on the property are also direct descendent of the cat. All 59 cats also have six toes. 

Residents Around the Key West Area Wake Up To Floodwaters Along Their Streets After Hurricane Ian’s Arrival 

On Wednesday (September 28th), residents in Bahama Village, just west of Key West, woke up to floodwaters along their streets after Hurricane Ian came through the area. 

FLKeys News reports that although Hurricane Ian came in with nearly 80 mph winds and caused the Southernmost City’s third-highest storm surge in more than 100 years, the residents say they didn’t lose power. “I’ve missed the last two,” resident Gregory James explained about the major hurricanes to impact the area. “So this is the worst one I’ve seen.”

A neighbor, Aaron Pearlman, also said that his one-story home was filled with seawater on Tuesday (September 27th). He and his girlfriend ended up leaving the home and sought higher ground at a nearby house. “It came up through the floor,” Pearlman said. “So it was panic mode, and we just hauled a—.”

It was noted that the Keys saw 3 to 5 feet of storm surge on the Atlantic coast of the island between 9 p.m. and midnight. Forecasters expect a similar amount of surge will occur on the island chain’s Gulf Coast. “Not that for several islands, this will allow the storm surge to pass over from Gulfside to oceanside,” forecasters shared. “Many streets will become impassable with water into ground floor homes and businesses, especially those in lower elevation areas.”

FLKeys News went on to add that a storm surge warning remains in effect on Wednesday for the Lower Keys. A storm surge watch is for the Upper and Middle Keys.