More than 50 cats descended from a multi-toed cat the novelist received as a gift in 1935 freely wander the grounds of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, where Hemingway wrote "A Farewell to Arms" and "To Have and Have Not."
The home has disputed a claim by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it is an "exhibitor" of cats and needs to have a federal license to continue caring for them. The caretakers of the home asked the U.S. District Court in Miami to intervene in July.
The agency has repeatedly denied a license for the Hemingway home under the Animal Welfare Act and has threatened to charge the home $200 (Ђ153) per cat per day for violating the act, according to the complaint, reports AP.
Telephone messages left after hours Monday at the Washington, D.C., office of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the home's attorney, Cara Higgins, were not immediately returned.