Dorothy Parker and the Round Table are not the only legends at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. One of the other traditions they have is that there’s always been a cat-in-residence for almost 80 years now.
With the retirement of Matilda II after a 13 year reign, the hotel has now chosen a new “Algonqueen” for the throne – Matilda III, a blue-eyed ragdoll.
The hotel’s new 4-year old mascot divides her time between rubbing up against the plush chairs in the lobby and taking naps on the bellman’s luggage cart. Matilda III has also taken a liking to the hotel’s 13th floor.
The new cat is the hotel’s tenth cat-in-residence in 79 years, starting with a stray named Rusty who sneaked into the hotel in 1932. Rusty started sharing a room with then owner Frank Case, and got so snooty he would only drink milk from a champagne glass.
Rusty was renamed Hamlet by actor John Barrymore. Rusty/Hamlet was followed by a string of Hamlets (II to VII) until 1987. In fact, Hamlet VI vanished during the hotel’s renovation and legend has it that he was accidentally trapped inside the walls.
Matilda I took over the throne in 1987 and the retired Matilda II is now living in a cushy pad in Brooklyn. Matilda III has taken over extensive duties at the hotel, including greeting felines who come to stay at the pet-friendly hotel under the “Algonquin ♥’s Pets” Program.
Guests with paws are greeted with a “purrrsonalized” welcome kit with a welcome letter from Matilda and a list of available services as well as some of Matilda’s favorite hot spots. The pet’s guest room is arranged prior to arrival with amenities such as food and water bowls, a floor mat, a litter box if needed and essentials for owners such as latex gloves and waste bags.
Matilda also has an active online social life managing the hotel’s facebook and twitter (@Algonqueen) pages, and she stays in contact with her many friends and fans via email. In fact, the hotel has even designed a special package for ‘Friends of Matilda.’
The package includes two night accommodation in a queen room, welcome amenity letter from Matilda and a replica plush of Matilda, a novel about the Algonquin cat, two cocktails in the lobby, and a 10% discount off the hotel’s best available retail rate. Don’t forget to use the promo code MAJ when booking online.
Photos – Algonquin Hotel
Info: 59 West 44th Street (between fifth and sixth ave) New York NY 10036; (212) 840-6800