The Plaza may have Eloise, but now, the Algonquin Hotel is about to get its own children’s book star: “Matilda, the Algonquin Cat.”
Cats, of course, are practically as synonymous with the Algonquin Hotel as its famous Round Table, and according to the Post, the history of the Round Table and the cats are intertwined. In 1932, one of the members, John Barrymore named a stray cat that had wandered into the hotel Hamlet. From then on, the hotel has always housed a rescue cat — males are named Hamlet, and girls are Matilda. The current Matilda has lived in the hotel since 2010.
Written by longtime Algonquin guest Leslie Martini, the book is a history of the hotel through the eyes of one cat. “The cat ends up being a conduit to the history of all these people who came here,” Martini told the Post.
Unlike Eloise, Matilda does not appear to cause havoc in the hotel, but she does live a pretty pampered life: she has a “assistant” Hadley, modeled after real-life Alice de Almeida, who is the hotel’s “chief cat officer,” taking care of Matilda’s social media presence and schedule. A strange job, for sure, but now that Matilda has a book deal, we can imagine her social life is about to get even more complex. [NYP]