Feds Pounce on Polydactyl Pussies


The Ernest Hemingway estate, home to a menagerie of six-toed cats, is under fire for failing to fetter its felines. The USDA is threatening the home with a $200 per cat per day fine for violating the Animal Welfare Act, legislation aimed at "protecting" animals used in commerce.

The official complaint is that the 6-foot-high, brick-and-mortar fence that Hemingway built around the property in 1937 does not sufficiently contain the 53 perambulatory cats. Nevermind the hoards of Key West Gypsy Roosters roaming the streets.

Although one might think the the USDA might have something better to do than picking fights with cat ladies, it overlooks the fundamental problem: the USDA, which wants the Hemingway home to comply with its standards of regulation, has repeatedly denied them a license. If the USDA gets its way, Washington bureaucrats will use an enigmatic federal mandate to play Howard Roark with one of our nations' more eccentric landmarks.

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  1. I know it’s been quoted here before but it’s worth repeating every day:

    “[J]ust pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.” Dr. Ferris in Atlas Shrugged.

  2. Purposes of the federal government: print the money, defend the borders, make and maintain treaties with foreign powers, regulate the kitties in Key West.

    So what’re y’all complainin’ about, huh?

    Welcome back, Taylor.

  3. Maybe a few more cats ought to get loose and stalk the feral chickens.

  4. I’m siding with the Feds on this one. Something has to be done to stop the insidious spread of kitty porn. If you don’t believe me check out kittyporn.org.

  5. Never mind the hoardes of Key West Gypsey Roosters roaming the streets. Beware the kitty.

  6. I don’t see how the USDA can exert jurisdiction over an island that seceded quite some time ago. The Conch Republic will fend off any attempts by the American anti-mutant-cats hegemony over its sovereignty. It has already beat us once, when the 478th Public Affairs Battalion of the United States Army Reserve surrendered to the Conch Republic in 1995. Feisty little margarita drinkers, eh?

  7. He stood at the front door to the house and looked at the fence that surrounded the property. It was a good fence, built of brick and mortar, six feet high. He knew it was too high for him to climb, that his climbing days were well behind him and that such things should now be left to younger men.

    There were many younger men who could do it. Especially here in Key West. Thousands of them roamed the streets, often arm in arm. That was something he did not like, that arm in arm business. It was good for a man to be a man and to be a man with women. It was also good for a man to be with other men, but not like these men.

    The fence kept these men out, but it did not keep the cats out. He did not know why the cats came, but they did. First one and then another, and soon there were many cats. He did not like cats. His house was a clean, well lighted place and he had no need for rat catchers. Only the big cats, the cats one could test oneself against in the morning mist over the veldt, only those cats were worthy of his respect. The sun caught his eye and he dreamed of Africa.

    Soon the man from the USDA would be here. He liked the government and this man even less than he liked the cats. Perhaps the fence would keep the USDA man out. He thought of the man and he thought of the cats. And then he went into the house to drink good whiskey and clean his shotgun.

  8. You mean more than one person is hoarding Key West’s wild chickens? For the love of god, why?

  9. D.A. Ridgely, you achieved the highest goal in ‘Net humor by making me snort soda out my nose from laughing so hard. Congratulations, you’ve redeemed a deeply wretched morning.

  10. D A Ridgely,

    Thank you. That was most highly bitchin.

  11. D.A. Ridgely, that perhaps is the best comment I have ever read on a weblog.

    Thank you.

  12. Nice one, D.A.

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