Odd Writers #8: Hemingway the Crazy Cat Lady

Hemingway’s cats have always fascinated
me. Thank you, Jo, for this charming essay!

Jo Danilo | Writer

‘Papa’ Hemingway was as tough as old boots, devilishly handsome, and as macho as they come. It seems the die was cast in his early years with a mother who dressed him as a little girl and called him ‘Ernestine’, and a broken heart that coloured his whole romantic life. Perhaps to (over)compensate, he filled his life with masculine pursuits and many wives…

Amongst other extreme life experiences, Hemingway was peppered with shrapnel during the first world war, brawled in bars with James Joyce, survived two plane crashes, caught seven marlin in one day (a world record in 1938), hung around in war zones, developed a bullfighting obsession, and hunted bears, lions, elephants and many other unfortunate creatures.

Most macho men have a hidden softness, though, and Hemingway was mad about cats…

He was basically a crazy cat lady.

“One cat just leads to another. . . . The place…

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