A Gloucester Polydactyl Cat

I came across this handsome polydactyl cat the other day near the rectory here at St. Ann’s Church.  According to various internet sources (including, of course, Wikipedia), “double-pawed” cats are particularly common on the east coast.  Reputedly, sailors prized them as skilled mousers and bringers of good luck.  Historically, they are particularly linked to Boston, from whence they spread to other ports. Hence, their higher distribution in cities like Gloucester.

This particular cat has polydactyly on both front and back feet, which is apparently (according to Wikipedia) fairly rare.  He was also extremely friendly with me, despite my being a total stranger.

According to a member of our parish staff, this cat (he, or maybe she? I’m not sure…) hangs around the church a lot.  Does anybody know to whom he belongs? If he’s a stray, I’m adopting him… (or her, or it, or whatever…)

– Fr. Matthew Green

8 thoughts on “A Gloucester Polydactyl Cat

  1. This cat could be the twin of my own beloved orange tiger, double-pawed cat that found as a stray kitten after I married and left Gloucester to live with my husband’s family in Westwood, Mass. As a baby kitten, we had to have the extra claws (not the toes) removed, as they were not retractable, and when he got them caught up in something he frequently could not free himself. I adored that cat, and several years later when I moved to Monterey, California I took him with me. It is no exaggeration to say that he was my best friend and the kindest, most loving being I ever knew. When I cried he would come right up to my face and ever so gently pat my tears with his giant soft paws. He lived to 15 years old. That was almost 27 years ago and I still miss him and cry at his loss, as if it were only yesterday. I hope you do adopt him (her?), and you love each other the way me and my big-pawed buddy did!


  2. ‘some of the claws of polydactyl cats are in awkward positions, so they are not able to trim them down by scratching. If proper trimming is not done, then these claws could grow into the cat’s flesh and cause infection’. – from Wikipedia
    Looks like kitty may need mani-pedi treats at the spa.


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