Matilda III, the beloved, long-haired cat who formerly strolled the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel, has passed away on October 21st. We recently learned of the news through a Facebook note posted by her keeper, Rosemary May Kenigsberg, who adopted Matilda after her retirement.
“Matilda III fell into a sleep today at the emergency vet clinic and did not wake up,” states the Facebook post, which was posted at 3:56pm. “Last evening she may have had a stroke, woke up with her hind legs very weak, then lost all control of her bladder. She did not want to be touched, her sister Miss Holley sat with her before we left and at the clinic she slipped away.”
According to Kenigsberg, Matilda had kidney disease, and was about 11 or 12-years-old when she passed in her home in Duluth, Minn.
She died in the lap of love,” Alice de Almeida, the Algonquin’s chief cat officer, told The New York Post. “[During] her last couple months, she had a huge house to hang out in with all this wildlife. She was able to be a real cat for a change.”
After seven years at the hotel, Matilda III, who arrived from the North Shore Animal League, retired from her post in July 2017. And while the hotel has had feline occupants since the early 1900’s, Matilda was certainly the most famous: she had dedicated social media accounts, had screen time on international television, and even received emails from human fans, who would visit her in person bearing gifts.
Kenigsberg, a hotel guest who has an animal sanctuary in Duluth, offered to adopt Matilda this year. An orange tabby named Hamlet has since taken over Matilda’s post, and recently paid tribute to her legacy:
Author Kevin Fitzpatrick, who is also an Untapped Cities contributor, also wrote the following statement in Matilda’s honor and shared the following video:
“Sad to learn Matilda has died. The retired Algonquin Cat didn’t get long to enjoy her retirement…She was one cool cat and if she came out in the lobby when I was leading a tour, it was a bonus. I’m thinking of Alice, her minder, and Rosemary the guest who adopted her. The Algonquin Hotel and NYC lost a beloved creature.”