Herding Hemingway's Cats

Polydactyl Cat.  Hemmingway Musuem


Ernest Hemingway’s ghost lives in Key West.  His home is now a museum.

There he teams with fifty-five six-toed cats, the progeny of his own polydactyl cat. The ghost and his cats roam wild and free. Over Hemingway’s old stone fence. Through Hemingway’s open windows. As they desire. No master binds them. Tourists love them. It is good. Or it was.

The USDA set out to coral the cats.  Control them. Herd them. Regulate them. Higher fences.  A night watchman. The Museum resisted.  As did the cats.

The judges “sympathize” with the museum– why would the Feds want to herd Hemingway’s cats?  Yet the judges won’t stop the USGA from trying because of the Commerce Clause and tourists who come to see the cats.  “It is not the court’s role to evaluate the wisdom of federal regulations.”  The court only cares about whether the Feds have the power.

Power and wisdom. Not the same thing.