Cat Sanctuary

Danny Boy

Danny Boy is a polydactyl cat. In simple terms, this means more than the usual allotment of toes.

Literary and trivia buffs have likely heard about cats with this particular trait through their most famous fan, Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway Cat  Photo by Rob O’Neal, Associated Press Originally published in the LA Times

The Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida, continues to care for the descendants of the original Hemingway Cats.

Danny Boy is a darling and has lived at the sanctuary for years. I was surprised to hear that he was a difficult cat to get along with in the early days, since his personality now makes it hard not to be fond of him.


He’s been having a hard time of it recently, with terrible balance problems from an inner ear infection. There’s hope that once the ear infection is completely cleared up, his balance will return to normal, but with neurological issues it’s hard to accurately predict the outcome. In the mean time, he’s in a cage so he can be given his meds and protected from falling.When I arrived for my feeding shift yesterday, he’d been brought out of his cage for a little – closely supervised – exercise in the front yard. He looked just like a child taking its first steps, gamely trying his best – as long as his human “mom” was close by. I joined them and he made his crooked way over to me, then stumbled against my ankles for a weave and a purr. The definition of a little trooper.
I hope to see him back up to full power again soon.

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