"By the time Papa’s fourth wife to be, Mary Welsh, moved into the Finca in 1945,
Ernest had twenty-three cats and five dogs. They were treated as royalty. The
cats slept in the guest bedroom and later lived in a room on the second floor of
the white tower Papa had built for his pets at one end of the terrace. He and
Mary called the cats "purr factories" and "love sponges" that soaked up their
love and in return gave them comfort and companionship."
This is from Hilary Hemingway's foreword to Hemingway's Cats: An Illustrated Biography by Carlene Fredericka Brennen. The book's website offers a handful of photos and excerpts detailing the great love Ernest Hemingway had for his sizable tribe of felines -- a tribe, I might add, that still lives at the Key West house and museum kept in Hemingway's memory.