Cat lovers in The Big Apple are sure to recognize one famous landmark: The Algonquin Hotel in Midtown. The hotel, which opened in 1902, has had a cat in residence since the 1920s. Recently, the honor was bestowed upon a a one-year-old orange tabby named Hamlet.
Hamlet replaces the previous cat in residence, Matilda III. The 11-year-old long-haired ragdoll was getting a bit too old to complete her duties, so she gracefully retired after her 7 years of service to live out the rest of her years in private.
The residence tradition all started when a stray cat named Billy wandered into the hotel and never left. Hamlet will be their 12th cat. The Algonquin even employs a chief cat officer to make sure the cat is always well-fed, groomed, and happy.
“I think the guests are going to eat him up,” said Alice Almeida, current chief cat officer.
When she noticed Matilda growing older, she began the search for the hotel’s newest feline friend. She was looking specifically for an orange tabby to pay tribute to the hotel’s original Hamlet of the same breed.
“We absolutely fell in love,” said de Almeida of their first meeting with Hamlet. “There’s not a shy bone in his body.”
With all of his upcoming duties, that personality should come in handy. Hamlet will be in charge of greeting guests at the front desk and, of course, posing for any fan photos. We wish Matilda a peaceful retirement and the best of luck to the newest Algonquin cat.
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