Hemingway admired the spirit and independence of cats. His first cat was given to him by a ship's Captain. It was a white, six-toed (polydactyl) cat named Snow White. He was fascinated by polydactyl (Latin for extra digits) cats. Most of his cats were then polydactyls. Only a polydactyl cat can parent another polydactyl (a dominant gene). The Maine Coon is the first breed known to have this trait but any breed can be polydactyl. The polydactal paw with the extra thumb is larger giving the appearance of the cat wearing mittens.