I love a good public cat.  What do I mean by “public cat”?  I mean bodega cats, cats that live in museums (like the Hermitage), cats like Larry and Palmerston, who live in Downing Street, etc.  My favorite public cats of all, though, are hotel cats.  Just a brief aside before I tell you about my favorite hotel cat: when we were in Provence this summer, my husband and I went to dinner at a very fancy hotel restaurant.  A number of the diners had dogs with them––including two women wearing head-to-toe designer gear with tiny Yorkies sitting on their laps––and yet, the restaurant had a cat roaming around.  If that was a passive-aggressive move by the owner of said hotel, I bow down to you, sir.

Anyway, obviously my favorite hotel cat of all time is Matilda, of the Algonquin in NYC.  The Algonquin has kept cats since the 1930s, and has had three Matildas (and seven Hamlets, but more on that in a bit).  When I was a regular, Matilda was a very coy rag doll beauty who had her own chaise lounge and would only reluctantly let me pet her.  According to this piece (which, side note, I’m very jealous I didn’t write), Matilda has stalkers… er, fans, who send her rather elaborate gifts:

There was a lady in Japan that hand-made an exact replica of her, two dolls, out of wool. Each strand of wool, strand by strand, she put those in. It looks exactly like Matilda. One is just Matilda, we have her in the showcase out front. And then I have one up here where she has her in a kimono.

But the Matilda I knew and loved is on her way to retirement, and a Hamlet has taken her post!  As per Algonquin’s Instagram:


This Hamlet is one lucky guy!  Agreed that some may find his appearance a bit drab after the glam Tildy, but according to the official Algonquin cat wrangler, he’s a real charmer!  Sad to have missed his inauguration, but Hamlet––here’s to a martini together in the near future.

2 Responses to “Cats”

  1. Squirrel Gardens Says:

    I am the lady that has adopted Matilda and lives with our family in Northern MN. She is content and we love her.

    • itinerantdaughter Says:

      How wonderful! I loved Matilda! She was so coy but that only made me want her to like me MORE! So glad she’s found a nice home. Did you work at the Algonquin?

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