From the start, Ernie was a special kitten.
He came into my wife and I's life, via our son, who rescued him.
But this was no ordinary rescue on city streets. It was something out of a movie.
Seven months ago when Ernie was only six-weeks-old, an owl sunk it's talons into his skinny neck and flew away with him! It was probably the same owl that took his sibling two days prior to the attack on Ernie.
In tears, my son who has a farm with an old barn, described the doomed kitten's screams as it was spirited away.
Then after two days, Ernie was taken by the owl, and he watched in horror as he twisted and squirmed in the owl's claws.
But then fate took a hand and little Ernie managed to wiggle free and fell down into a tree!
Not knowing if he was dead or alive, my son climbed up and found Ernie clinging with his big polydactyl paws to a branch.
He needed a home and we were glad to take him. My wife and I have fallen in love with this fantastic feline who makes us laugh every day.
What is polydactyl?
Simply put, they are cats with extra toes. Sometimes on all four paws, or just in the front, or back.
Ernie is called a Hemingway Cat because the famous American author Ernest Hemingway was given one by a sea captain. It's name was Snow White.
Today, the Hemingway House in Key West is the Hemingway Home and Museum. Almost 50 cats roam the property - all descendants of Snow White.
A Typical Day With Ernie
From the moment I wake up - usually around 5 a.m. - Ernie is there to greet me.
He's seven-months-old now, but when I first brought him home he knitted in my beard which was thick enough then to protect the skin beneath.
Since trimming my beard he's moved on to knitting on blankets. As I make coffee he bounds around the kitchen and living room like a cat on crack!
His toys, stuffed with catnip, inspire him to greater heights of buffoonery every day. He heckles our other cats mercilessly, wanting to play.
Our two dogs - Molly, the Pug, and Butters, our Iggy - accept and even tolerate Ernie. It's like they know he's still a kitten.
By late morning - usually 10 or 11 a.m. - Ernie curls up in one of his several favorite napping spots, and blissfully drifts into dreamland.
There hasn't been a day when Ernie didn't make my wife and I laugh. Perhaps it's his youthful exuberance. Or, because he is such a special cat.