Ernie Joe Mauer

I am quite sure I’ve told the story of how he got his name before but I am happy to tell it again.  Wish I could lay my hands on those first pictures.  Ernie arrived in July 2009 – one morning he just appeared in my hay shed.  He was an older kitten, very tame, I had never seen him before and I have absolutely no idea how he got to my hay shed.

On closer inspection we discovered he had 6 toes – he was a polydactyl cat.  We learned that Ernest Hemingway raised polydactyl cats in Key West and so his name became Ernie.


My mom still lived in her own home by herself in Garner and was a healthy 89 year old. She still mowed her own yard, led an exercise class every morning and was sharp as a tack.  We knew Mom would actually enjoy a cat once she gave in and agreed to one but to entice her further we knew she loved the Minnesota Twins catcher/first baseman Joe Mauer.  Both positions required big baseball gloves that resembled Ernie’s big paws.  How could she resist a housemate named Ernie Joe Mauer?  She turned 90 that September and during the party when we announced that we were giving her a cat named Ernie Joe Mauer she announced in a very firm, un 90 – like voice that she didn’t want a cat.  So that was the end of that.  EJM lives with us to this day.  He is so big – he’s like a small child.  Holding him is like holding a toddler – no kidding.  And he is always underfoot.  

Three months after her 90th birthday party Mom had a bad stroke and remained paralyzed on her right side for the rest of her life which was spent at the care center in Garner.  And as Mom said “we never knew anything about this place and it’s the most popular place in town.”  She made the best of it for 2-1/2 years but Ernie Joe Mauer should always have been her cat.

I’ll tell him he has a fan club.

27 thoughts on “Ernie Joe Mauer

  1. Freda Ireland

    I do enjoy all your “Letters”! Thank you for spending your time on all the Words & Pictures! We too have a “small Child” Cat! She Looks much like Ernie Joe Mauer! She just walked in the house one day & I said “Hi Fluffy!” She was so Skinny! I put her on my Special diet of Chicken & Rice ( for only a Year) & Fluffy is now about a 15 lb. Light Orange Beauty. She has the Triangular Head, Large Ears, White Feet , White tip on her Tail & a Large White Ruff Mane of a Norwegian Forrest Cat! Before she got so large, she spent much of her time on the 6 foot tall cat Tree! She was the Alpha Cat from day one! Fluffy & our Big 6 toed cat, Blackie, are best of Buds. They Lick each other, Play a bit & then take Naps together on our Bed, taking up almost half of the Bed! I tell people that Fluff must have escaped from the Winner’s Circle of a cat show! She loves to be Brushed & her fluffy hair has never matted up! I don’t know how she escaped the Coyotes (in our subdivision) that get most of the outdoor cats! Maybe that is why she has never wanted to go back outside! We keep all our 4 cats Inside! I think I wrote about her onetime before! I just know that Fluffy & Ernie Joe Mauer would love to be Pals! Love you too EJM!!! Freda, Oxford, AL

  2. Beverly

    What a great story about EJM. He is a beautiful cat. I was afraid to read your post as my first thought was that he had died. I didn’t have any kleenex near my computer in that event. I cannot believe your Mom would not have him. I have been allergic to cats for as long as I recall. Really allergic as in the eye watering, sneezing crap when I don’t even know a cat is nearby. Can you imagine my horror when my daughter boomeranged home with a cat?? Steve fit right in and I had no reaction. Then one stormy winter night we were picking our son up at the bus stop and he was trying to coax a kitten from under a garbage bin. Little Kitty came home with us 7 years ago. Named such because he was little and Steve was big. Steve has moved out again with my daughter and Little Kitty rules the roost and I didn’t have any reaction to either one of them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beverly – is that something you can “grow out of”? Thank goodness for the sake of Steve and Little Kitty! I wish Jenny’s Ryan would get past that cat allergy so he could come to my house!

  3. Louise

    Thanks so much for your memories and stories Mary. I just realized I have been enjoying them for over 30 years!! God bless..

  4. Martha Engstler

    I love orange cats but always called mine “Pickles.” Ernie is special and smart to come to your house.

  5. Holly

    I love it! Great story for a great cat! What a treat to read about him. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Becky from IA

    Great story!!! Beautiful cat!!! Are dog’s name is Kasa Kola. We collect Coca Cola so “house of cola”.

  7. LeAnn Keenan

    Thanks for telling the story. I’m always intrigued by what people name their pets. He’s such a beauty.

  8. Michele

    From someone who gets to see Ernie quite regularly, he is quite the cat. A big boy, with a big loving heart. He’s happy to lay on you and have his face right next to yours all the while making sure you pet him the whole time he’s on top of you. Eventually he does get HEAVY! 🙂

  9. Dee Winter

    What a sweetie! I miss coming to visit and seeing the kitties and goats and geese. I didn’t come often but it was to see the animals as much as the quilt shop. Yep, sign me up for his fan club.

  10. MartyCae

    He is just the most handsome cat ever! I love hearing about him and seeing pictures. Please keep posting them from time to time! Thanks.

  11. Carol

    Well, the truth will out at some point and I was happy to hear the origin of sweet EJm’s name….such a ploy to get your mom to love a cat! My mother is moving in with us and I swear the draws are, in order, our Kitty (the runaway Kitty who is really named LuluBelle but only likes Kitty), the gas fireplace with a remote, a live in cook and chauffeur, free home maintenance …aka me, and my husband. But Kitty comes first!

  12. Sharon Ernst

    What a touching story! Erin’s is very special & has brought a lot of joy to you. Cherish the moments!

  13. Dorothy

    All of my 6-toed kitties have been big !!!! 6-toed kitties are considered “good luck charms” — mine sure were

  14. Launa Peters

    Mary, I really enjoy cats and dogs and Ernie Joe Mauer’s story is wonderful….read in this morning’s paper about a pet goat who let a Clydesdale out of his pen and they went for a romp together; thankfully it ended well. The story of interest around here today was about a rancher living near us who had a political fund raiser for a candidate who flew in on his own jet…had a caravan of CHP, Police, Sheriff, FBI, Secret Service escorting all the way (very near us) into our farming town. He promised to do something about water for this parched “food basket raising area”…..No, we weren’t invited to spend $2400 for the luncheon and another $24,000 if we wanted a personal meet and greet. Then it was back to the airport and flying north to my hometown in WA……for another fund raiser. Of course there were some very peaceful protests and some flag waving near the local event here. I was at Wal Mart and overheard a few heated conversations about the 49er QB who didn’t stand for our National Anthem at the game; only in America.

  15. Beryl

    The pictures just came up!! He is a pretty cat!! If I weren’t allergic tot hem I would probably have to go with my dogs!

  16. Beryl

    Great story! For some reason your pictures didn’t come this time but enjoyed the story! We can be so thankful memories!! Makes missing our parents a little easier.
    Thanks for the time you take to share. You are special to take care of so many pets…not my cup of tea. My two Shitsu’s (sp) are quite enough!

  17. Donna O

    Mary EJM looks to be almost as big as my Henry and you’ve seen pics of my Henry. Very pretty cat or I suppose I should say very handsome. Thanks for sharing how his name came to be. Sweet story Mary. I love your posts.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna – yes, I’ll bet Henry and EJM would be more than a lap full!

  18. Rose Mikulski

    Well that story makes sense and a good read. I will admit I was expecting a romantic story like he was the red hair boy with the Swedish mother who was your first grade crush and always pulled your pig-tails. I don’t like to embellish my quilts but I sure do like to embellish a story. Don’t let me write your biography.

  19. Angie Rowland

    I was lucky on our travels to meet Ernie and he is adorable. So loving and majestic. I guess he knows he is special.

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