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KEY WEST, FL (CNN) --A literal cat fight over a legacy left behind by author Ernest Hemingway is settled for now.

A Florida appeals court has ruled the federal government can regulate the famous cats roaming the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.

The case started after a complaint over the 45 felines that call the Hemingway property home.

The museum had originally complied with a set of demands from the USDA, getting a license and building a fence to keep the cats in.

The cats are direct descendants of Hemingway's pet Snowball, many with six toes on their front paws like Snowball.

The bottom line? The court says thousands of admission-paying visitors stop by the museum every year, therefore the feds can regulate the local attraction.

For their part, museum officials say they just don't want the cats treated like zoo animals.

The appeals court ruling stands, unless the Supreme Court decides to hear the case.