The Big Apple's Famed Algonquin Cat Invites You To Party For Kitties In Need

Susan Richard
July 21, 2018 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) One year on the job, and the Algonquin Cat is ready to PURRty.

That's cat talk for party, Algonquin Executive Assistant and Chief Cat Officer Alice de Almeida told 1010 WINS.  In fact, Hamlet will preside over the annual Algonquin Cat Fashion Show & Fundraiser to benefit the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals on Thursday, August 2, 2018.
Hamlet has been holding court as the Algonquin's mascot after Matilda III, a rescued ragdoll, retired in August of 2017 at the age of 12. She had served since 2011, when she was found abandoned outside North Shore Animal League America.  Hamlet, a ginger tabby, also hails from Long Island, were he was found hanging out with colony of ferals.  He was among a number of cats humanely trapped, neutered, ear-tipped and returned to the community. "He's amazing," de Almeida told 1010 WINS. "He turns cat haters in the cat lovers.  He loves greeting the guests.  He's just lovable and wants to know what everybody's doing."  

In fact, Hamlet was so friendly, a good samaritan brought him to Bide-A-Wee which had heard about the hotel mascot gig. The rest, as they say, is history.

Meet Hamlet in this episode of All For Animals TV with 1010 WINS' Susan Richard:

It was long believed that the Algonquin has boasted a feline mascot since the 1930s, when owner Frank Case allowed in a stray he named Rusty. The name was promptly changed to Hamlet by actor John Barrymore, who along with Dorothy Parker, was part of the famed Algonquin Roundtable.  Ever since, all male cats to hold the position have been named Hamlet, and females, Matilda (don't ask why Matilda -- they don't know).

Well, it turns out, Rusty wasn't the first! 

After the Algonquin recently acquired an out-of-print book written by Case, a chapter was discovered about a cat in the late 1920s named Billy. According to the account, Rusty appeared two days after Billy passed. 

The annual Fashion Show and Fundraiser not only celebrates the 90+ year tradition of the hotel's spokescat, it also supports the rescue of fellow felines.  Tickets to the event are $75, with the entire amount going to the Mayor's Alliance (and therefore a tax deductible donation).  The Mayor's Alliance is an umbrella organization of 150+ rescue groups that help to reduce euthanasia at Animal Care Centers of NYC by pulling at risk animals.  In addition, the it runs key rescue support initiatives including the Wheels of Hope transport program, the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and Adoptapalooza Mega Adoption events.  At the Algonquin, Linda's Cat Assistance will be on hand starting at 3pm with adoptable kitties.

There is also an online auction, with items up for bid including a Gen7Pets Promenade Stroller, Sleepypod cat beds & accessories, a Kitty Tree Deluxe by Pet Treehouses, a signed original drawing from Hamlet The Algonquin Cat Book, and a two night stay the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA.

The party itself starts at 5pm, with free hors d'oeuvres, desert and an open bar, along with eight meowdels (cat talk for cat models) who will walk the cat walk wearing handmade fashions by Ada Nieves.  "Will Hamlet be modeling?", 1010 WINS asked de Almeida.  The answer, "He will supervise."

Get tickets to the party HERE.

Check out the auction items HERE.