Image courtesy Shop Cats of New York
Rats and pigeons may reign supreme in New York City, but cats — both resident and stray ones — have found their home amidst our urban sprawl. Some stalk the streets, others take refuge in corner bodegas and still more pounce around the lobby of hotels.
As lifelong New Yorkers, the Untapped Cities team has grown familiar with quite a few of these furry faces over the years. In fact, you can read amusing tales about them in Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian and Andrew Marttila (HarperCollins). Based on these stories and our very own encounters, we’ve complied a few of the most famous feline friends that call the city home.
10. Hamlet at the Algonquin Hotel
The Algonquin Hotel 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.
Following Matilda III’s retirement (more on her later), Hamlet, an orange tabby stray found in Long Island, became the new residential cat in August 2017. The first male mascot for the hotel in more than 40 years, Hamlet was adopted from Bideawee animal rescue in Wantagh. If you happen to visit the Algonquin anytime soon, make sure to give him a pet, and read up on some fascinating secrets about the hotel. You can also see what Hamlet is up to by visiting his personal Facebook account.