By Laura Itzkowitz
July 15, 2015
Credit: Peter Loppacher

Plenty of hotels have animal mascots, but the historic Algonquin, an Autograph Collection Hotel in New York City, has been rescuing and caring for stray cats since the 1920s. Famed for its rich literary history—The New Yorker was born at the hotel’s Round Table restaurant—the Algonquin’s animal-friendly legacy is less well known. Back when Dorothy Parker frequented the hotel, then general manager Frank Case adopted the first Algonquin Cat after it wandered in off the street and named it Billy. Since then, the hotel has had eleven furry felines, including seven cats named Hamlet and three Matildas.

The current Matilda lives in a custom-made pet home perched atop the front desk. She freely roams the luxurious property (except the kitchen and dining areas), takes plenty of catnaps (which are in her job description), and receives fan mail and gifts from all over the world (including the aforementioned pet home).

Credit: Peter Loppacher

Every year, the hotel celebrates the Algonquin Cat’s birthday. This year’s celebration for Matilda will take place on Aug. 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the lobby. The proceeds from each guest’s $30 entry fee will be donated to the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals and a mobile adoption center will be parked outside the hotel from 3 p.m. on. The event will honor the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad with a cat fashion show with costumes inspired by FDNY and NYPD uniforms.

Space is limited and the event is filling up quickly. To inquire about attending, email the hotel’s Chief Cat Officer Alice De Almeida at