Carlene Fredericka Brennen's volume shows Papa Hemingway with the companions he called "love sponges"—from F. Puss in Paris to the six-toed critters whose descendants populate his old Key West, Fla., home.
Hemingway (left, with Friendless's Brother in Cuba, 1952) said that his cat—who actually was a she—"had many sorrows and occasional ecstasies."
"A cat has absolute emotional honesty. Male or female, a cat will show you how it feels about you," Hemingway told his brother Leicester. Corn-on-the-cob fancier Cristóbal (right, dining à deux in Cuba, 1958) showed little interest in other cats and became a devoted companion to the novelist.
Hemingway's youngest son Gregory (at near left, holding Boise; older son Patrick is at far left) urged him to adopt the energetic kitten. Boise "would become Ernest's dear and closest cat friend, whom he would come to call Brother," writes Brennen. When Boise died, Hemingway buried him near his house in Cuba.