Title: Hemingway’s Cats

By: Lindsey Hooper

ISBN: 9781496729606

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra


Inspired by the true story of the world-famous six-toed felines of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida–and the fur-raising hurricane that nearly blew them away–Hemingway’s Cats is a delightful novel packed with colorful characters, adorable cats, a little romance, and a lot of humor.

Laura Lange didn’t come to Key West to fall in love. As a recent college grad–with a useless degree in English–she came to work at the historic Hemingway home as a tour guide. Why not? She wrote her thesis on the iconic author. She has no other job offers. And she’s desperate. Now Laura is falling desperately in love–with the fifty-four frisky felines who freely roam the estate. These descendants of Hemingway’s original cat have not only stolen her heart–they’re changing her life in ways she never imagined . . .

First there’s Nessie, the bushy-tailed house mother of the cats who seems to have adopted Laura, too. Then there’s grumpy old Pawpa Hemingway; the cat thieves Chew-Chew and Whiskey; the big-pawed Boxer and Bullfighter; and dozens of darling kittens. The locals are lovable, too. Laura’s having a great time with her boy-crazy bungalow roomies, the Crabb sisters, and especially the young, handsome cat keeper, Jake. But Laura’s summer of fun is about to take an unexpected turn–a Category 5 hurricane is about to make landfall directly on their doorstep . . .

They can’t possibly evacuate fifty-four cats. So Laura, Nessie, and all of their friends decide to hunker down in the Hemingway House to weather this storm–together. (Goodreads)


Hemingway’s Cats is the first book by Lindsey Hooper that I have read. A thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read story about the myriad of six-toed (polydactyl) cats that inhabit the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida. 

Laura Lange moves to Key West to take a job as a tour guide at the Hemingway Museum (she did after all write her college thesis on Hemingway) …and thus the story begins. The reader is taken on a journey like no other as Laura adapts to life in Key West, her new job and a blossoming love life (possibly-only time will tell). Of note – this is not the first time Laura had been to the Hemingway Museum – she visited as a child and had fond memories of the museum since that time.

The book is filled with humor. I quite enjoyed it when Nessie (officially known as Ernestine Hemingway), one of the 54 four cats that roam this historic home, museum and palm-shaded gardens was speaking or more appropriately, the narrator was telling the reader what Nessie was thinking.  

Being a cat, Nessie has never read any of the Nobel Prize winner’s acclaimed novels or stories. Also, being a cat, she has never actually counted the number of felines prowling the Hemingway estate-because cats can’t count. Nessie does, however, know each and every one of the cats personally. She knows them like the back of her six-toed paw-or however many toes she has.” 

Needless to say – Nessie is one of my favorite characters in the story! Additionally, I loved the names given to the cats – Chew-Chew (a food thief), Whiskey (likes to sample drinks!), Spinderella, Larry, Curly, Moe, Boxer and Bullfighter (big-footed brothers) and Pawpa – just to name a few. Each of the cat’s personalities shone through the storytelling, also reflected in their name, and it felt like I knew each of the cats as if they were my own.

Humor is not all that the book has to offer though. We get to read about a number of romantic encounters – not just Laura and her suitor(s)… but also other characters as well (specifically I am thinking of Margarita Bouffet – the general manager of Hemingway House and dancer extraordinaire). 

Finally, who wouldn’t love a book cover with so many cute cats? I count seven in total and they are all adorable. Can you tell I like cats ☺

I found this an enjoyable, fun read which took me on a journey. I would like to actually visit the museum myself! Time will tell. Regardless – I got to explore and experience the museum through this delightful story. If you are looking for a light read, with endearing characters (and cats…and other animals!), a bit of humor, some romance, a bit of inclement weather that all the humans and cats must survive and a really funky cab driver named Mama Marley – then pick up this book, get yourself a margarita (okay – that is optional) and immerse yourself in some seriously fun reading.