Move over Matilda, the world is about to have a new famous feline!
The Algonquin Hotel has been one of New York City’s oldest and most historic hotels, opening in 1902. Aside from its famous Algonquin Round Table, where the greatest literary minds of the Roaring 20’s gathered to discuss their ideas, the hotel has been known across the globe for being home to “The Algonquin Cat.”
The Algonquin has been home to a residential cat since the 1920’s when a stray named Billy wandered into the hotel and never left. Since then, seven male cats, all named Hamlet, and three females, all named Matilda, have been the face of the hotel. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to “interview” Matilda III, who “answers” her own emails. Matilda, who has quite the personality, will now be “retiring” and a new cat is on the prowl – Hamlet.
Matilda III, a regal long-haired ragdoll, has been the residential cat since 2010 and has kept quite busy, attracting fans from all over the world, doing photo shoots, television appearances, and even having a book published from her viewpoint. But according to The Algonquin Hotel’s “chief cat officer”, Alice de Almeida, Matilda will be retiring from her “duties” as the beloved face of the hotel after seven years and will be adopted by one of the hotel’s associates.
The Algonquin Hotel didn’t waste any time looking for the new face of their hotel either. Hamlet, a one-year old orange tabby stray found in Long Island, will be the new residential cat starting this week, though he is still in “training.
Hamlet is the first male mascot for the hotel in more than 40 years and will be introduced to the public for the first time this tonight during the hotel’s annual Cat Fashion Show after being hidden upstairs away from the public for a couple of weeks.
De Almeida has been spending time with Hamlet, getting him acquainted with his new home, and believes that the public will be ready to “eat him up” come Thursday. Although there was initial fears that the public would face an adjustment process after falling in love with Matilda’s personality, any worries were immediately shot down once the hotel staff officially met their new furry friend and his sweetness.
The Algonquin Hotel adopted Hamlet from Bideawee animal rescue in Wantagh, and the staff are excited to have the world meet their new lovable resident.
Next, check out Get to Know The Shop Cats of NYC in New Book or Koneko, Another Cat Cafe Hits NYC on the Lower East Side. Get in touch with the author on Instagram @mjohnathonrich.