An orange 1-year-old tabby found searching for food in a feral colony near Hempstead, Long Island is the newest member of Midtown’s historic Algonquin Hotel. Appropriately named Hamlet, this friendly feral kitty is the 12th Algonquin cat ambassador and the first male to fill the position in more than 40 years.
The Algonquin has a long history of having a cat mascot. The hotel, which opened in 1902, has had a resident cat since the 1920’s when a stray cat named Billy wandered in and never left. The first Hamlet arrived back in 1933 and was originally named Rusty. Actor and frequent guest John Barrymore decided Rusty needed a more dignified name since he’d be living at the upscale hotel.
There have also been three cats named Matilda. Matilda III has called the Algonquin home since 2010 after being adopted from the North Shore Animal League. The most famous mascot yet, Matilda III has made international TV appearances and a book was published on her in 2016. At age 11, Matilda has started feeling her age and isn’t as friendly with visitors. Chief cat officer Alice de Almeida with Hamlet. Annie Wermiel/NY Post said one of the hotel’s associates who loves her dearly will be adopting Matilda.
Hotel marketing manager Nicholas Sciammarella said he wants Matilda to have a few good golden years where she can just have a private life. Hamlet was found when the Algonquin spread the word they were looking for a cat to fill their cat ambassador position. They soon heard from Bideawee Animal Rescue in Wantagh that a tabby with a clipped ear had shown up at their door.
Matilda, and now Hamlet, has a press team to promote the resident cat concept.Alice de Almeida is chief cat officer. Her duties include managing feline social media, handling vet appointments and making sure the resident cat is well groomed and spoiled. Alice said of her new charge
“We absolutely fell in love. There’s not a shy bone in his body.”
Hamlet will make his first public appearance Thursday evening at the hotel’s annual Cat Fashion Show, a fundraiser for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
For more photos (copyrighted) of Hamlet click here.