Saturday, March 1, 2008

Matilda, the Algonquin Cat

Matilda Algonquin CatI've attended two Backspace Writers Conferences that were held at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. The annual conference is a must-do for all writers -- an opportunity to meet other writers, editors and agents, and learn so much about the craft. Being at the Algonquin also gave me the chance to meet Matilda, the hotel's current resident feline.

In the 1930's, a rather tattered cat wandered through the front doors of the hotel. Given food, shelter and the name Hamlet, he opted to stay. Since then, all the male cats have been so named, and all the females have been called Matilda. Except for the dining area and kitchen, she has the run of the hotel, but seems to prefer the lobby area. That's where I found her.

Matilda liked to sleep on the baggage cart instead of her own miniature chaise lounge in the lobby. She wasn't all that interested in chatting, seeming far more keen on watching the comings and goings of staff and guests. However, she did allow me to take her picture.

Considering the price of a room at the Algonquin, I'd say that Matilda is getting a great deal. All she has to do is look good -- a job she does very well.

UPDATE: Click here for information on Matilda's birthday bash.

14 comments:

H.G. Dowdell said...

Sorry I never got to meet Matilda at the Algonquin when I popped in during last year's Backspace Conference.

And yes, at those room rates -- she really IS getting a rock bottom discount. : )

NuclearToast said...

Not many upscale places have official on-site critters. That's awesome.

Heidi the Hick said...

How wonderful!

When we were in Winnipeg, the Fairmont had a sweet black lab who was their official greeter. I think having a cat greeter is even better. Less unwanted affection upon arrival, haha!

Lynn Sinclair said...

Well, Georgie, Matilda may not have had the opportunity to meet you last year, but I did -- and that's all that matters.

Lynn Sinclair said...

NT, this cat was very cool. You should have seen her little chaise lounge, it was so cute. She is definitely queen of The Algonquin.

Lynn Sinclair said...

What a wonderful gig for a dog, Heidi. His tail must wag constantly.

B. K. Birch said...

What a great story.

When me and my sis were walking up 5th Avenue in NYC back in October, we saw this homeless man sitting on the sidewalk with two cats and a pie pan converted to a litterbox. The cats never strayed far from the man, despite the massive foot traffic.

One of the cats was named Becky. It was an amazing thing to see.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Homeless, yet he gave his cats a litter box (of sorts). Sweet story, Brenda.

Fuzzy Logic said...

How cool to have a "hotel" cat.. awesome!

Lynn Sinclair said...

I was impressed that the cat didn't jump on the nearby dining tables. My cat would be all over them.

Anonymous said...

I was snubbed three times by Matilda during my Thanksgiving day dinner. In fact, she actually came out of her private room to snub me the third time. there is nothing more belittling than being looked through by a cat. I consider myself honored.

Lynn Sinclair said...

You've pegged it, Anonymous. To be snubbed by Matilda is to be snubbed by the best.

Emilia said...

I had the pleasure of working with Matilda for about five years. I just love her and I think the feeling is mutual. I like to call her the AlgonQUEEN.

Lynn Sinclair said...

How lucky you are, Emilia, to have had such a great co-worker. I love "Algonqueen".