“To be or not to be” Hamlet, that is the question that was recently posed to a feline who will soon take center stage as the latest cat to take on the role of DirectFUR of Guest Relations at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City.
The one-year-old orange tabby will be the eighth “Hamlet” to call The Algonquin home since 1932, when actor John Barrymore began a hotel tradition of naming each male cat to become the landmark retreat’s mascot after Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark. Hamlet will be The Algonquin’s 12th resident cat, following in a line of paw prints that began with Billy, a stray who came to stay back in the 1920s.
Once part of a feral cat colony, The New York Post reports that Hamlet’s second act in life was made possible by America’s first no-kill animal rescue, Bideawee, a non-profit which has been saving lives since 1903.
Handing over the reins to the position is The Algonquin’s reigning AlonQUEEN, Matilda III. Promenading along the hotel’s halls since 2011, the 11-year-old ragdoll– a rescue cat from North Shore Animal League America who has continued the custom of the hotel’s female cats to be called by the same moniker– is set to retire after throwing her purr-ty for a paws cause, Matilda’s Annual Celebration and Cat Fashion Show, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a non-profit which helps a coalition of more than 150 area rescue organizations and shelters in an effort to make The Big Apple a no-kill city.
While Matilda III will take a bow as fans cheer for her years of making hotel guests feel at home and raising funds for companion animals who need forever homes, at the August 3rd event the curtain will rise on Hamlet’s days in the spotlight.
Want to get the scoop on the history of The Algonquin Cat? Matilda III’s 2016 tome (fittingly named Matilda The Algonquin Cat) recalls past Hamlets and Matildas, and offers a look at what daily life has been like for the latest cat to live at The Algonquin Hotel.
Photo Credit: The Algonquin Hotel/ Instagram