In the late 1930s a rather disheveled feline wandered into the Algonquin Hotel in New York, searching for food and shelter. Ever the quintessential host, owner Frank Case welcomed the furry traveler into the Algonquin, actor John Barrymore dubbed the bedraggled stray Hamlet, and a tradition was born.
Matilda, the Algonquin's resident cat, just turned 13. A pedigreed ragdoll breed with long, silky, cream-colored hair, she is the hotel's ninth cat since the tradition started. She has the run of the house (except in dining areas and kitchen) but prefers to oversee the comings and goings of the many guests who cross her threshold.
Each year Matilda is given a birthday party, as befits a New York celebrity. A memorable one occurred in 2002 when, while celebrating her seventh birthday with 150 of her closest friends, she jumped on her cake and ran out of the room, leaving a trail of paw prints.
Source: The Algonquin Cat
Photo credit: Eda Cherry