Few mascots have had the storied history enjoyed by the Algonquin Cat, arguably the most famous feline resident of Times Square’s venerable Algonquin Hotel.
On Wednesday, the hotel will continue its annual celebration of its famous cat — currently Matilda III – with a party from 5-7:30 p.m. in the hotel’s iconic lobby to mark the 10th anniversary of the hotel’s cat fashion show.
The Algonquin Cat traces its origins to the 1930s, when a stray cat came wandering into the hotel looking for food and water. The hotel has had a total of 11 cats to date and each cat that has reigned at The Algonquin has been a rescue. The current Matilda began her residence in December 2010.
The theme of the cat fashion show, by pet designer Ada Nieves, will be Through the Decades, honoring iconic looks of the hotel’s most famous guests and patrons from Al Hirschfeld and Marilyn Monroe to John Barrymore.
“Every year I look forward to creating pieces for the Algonquin’s event and help raise funds for felines in need,” said Nieves. “… After all, the event is about the kitties and we have 10 amazing ‘purrrrfect’ ones celebrating with Matilda on this special occasion.”
In honor of the 10-year anniversary, the hotel hopes to raise $10,000 for the Alliance for NYC’s Animals with an online auction and prizes including two tickets and a backstage meet and greet with the cast of the brand new revival of "CATS," private consultation and cat tree house by Pet Tree Houses, as well as a private walking tour hosted by author and historian, Kevin Fitzpatrick.
“Matilda’s Party is our favorite event of the year,” said General Manager Manuela Rappenecker. “… Matilda is such an important part of our hotel’s history, we have had a resident cat since the 1920s, and she is 11th in the line.”
Rappenecker added that Matilda’s popularity is now global with people from Japan, Russia and even as far as New Zealand sending gifts every year.
In addition, there will be an on-site mobile adoption unit parked in front of the hotel from 3-7 p.m.
Guests attending the event are encouraged to wear their best feline inspired outfits.
Matilda, a bit on the pampered side, is looked after by the hotel’s Chief Cat Officer, Alice De Almeida.
Further, the hotel’s executive chef cooks Matilda special meals on holidays.
Matilda also constantly receives fan mail and gifts from around the world, including Japan, Australia and Russia. Social media savvy, Matilda can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in addition to email.
“We are delighted to be a part of Matilda’s Celebration at the Algonquin Hotel again this year,” said Jane Hoffman, President of the Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “To celebrate Matilda is to celebrate all cats and the important role they play in our lives.”
For more information on ticket sales and additional prizes, visit the event’s information page.