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.