Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Location at Matilda the Algonquin Cat's Debutante Ball in NYC!

The historic Algonquin Hotel in New York City is famous for many things, but the furriest of all is the cat who resides in the lobby and greets incoming guests. The tradition of a resident feline at the famed hotel began in the late 1930s, when a stray cat wandered in looking for food and shelter. Legend has it, the hotel's owner at the time welcomed in the wandering stranger, and as they say, the rest if hist-purry.

Since that time, ten lucky felines have called The Algonquin home (all the boys are named Hamlet, all the females are Matilda), and last year, Matilda II went out with a swinging 15th birthday soiree, before retiring to a "classic pre-war" apartment in Brooklyn after nearly 13 years of service. Before her departure, she sniffed out a suitable replacement, and found one in Matilda III, a pink-nosed Ragdoll who was adopted from the North Shore Animal League in Manhattan.

In lieu of the annual birthday bash that was typically thrown for Matilda II every August, which also serves as a benefit for the North Shore Animal League, this year the party was billed as a "Debutante Ball," where the four-year-old Matilda III was officially presented into high society.

Mýa was overtaken by the paw-parazzi

Last night, I had the privilege of mixing with New York City's feline elite at the star-studded event, hosted by pet lifestyle expert Sandy Robins, and Grammy award winning singer-songwriter and actress, Mýa. Esteemed guests were treated to scrumptious cat-approved fare such as tuna fish finger sandwiches, bacon wrapped sea scallops, and coconut shrimp hors d'oeuvres.

Beverage options

For $20, guests could purchase designer kitty cocktails, also benefiting the animal rescue organization. Options included scintillating selections such as Purrtinis, Pink Pussy Cats, and of course, the eponymous Matilda, consisting of Belvedere Ponaranza, Cointreau, lemon & orange juice, and a splash of Perrier Jouet (you can read about my experience trying one back in February here).

Matilda III being presented by her executive assistant, Alice de Almeida

The furry guest of honor was being a bit shy, and only made a brief appearance for the cameras, while donning an elegant royal purple cape, trimmed in white faux fur, silver braiding, and red hearts.

Meow Wear designer Carla Reiss posing with one of the MEWdels

In addition to the food, drinks, and celebrity guests, the highlight of the affair was the Meow Wear cat fashion show, presented by designer Carla Reiss.

The MEWdels

Sleepy Prince Charming

Elvis cruising along in his signature Pink Cadillac

While there were no Robert Pattinsons or Chiquita Bananas like in years past, this year's catwalk, starring MEWdels from the Westchester Feline Club, did feature a sleepy kitty Prince Charming, along with Elvis in his signature Pink Cadillac!

Cake by Adam Beckworth of A Little Somethin' Sweet

Of course, no social event of the season would be complete without a chichi cake, and there was one in the form a four-story fondant masterpiece, designed by Adam Beckworth of A Little Somethin' Sweet. The beautiful creation was clearly the work of a skilled artisan (it was decorated with white ruffles and pink roses, but sadly no cats!), but I can't comment on how it tasted, because it wasn't served to the guests!

All in all I had a wonderful time at the ball, and wish the new Matilda the best in her new post as "Directfurr of Guest Relations" at the Algonquin. If you ever get the chance to visit, make sure to stop by the lobby and say hello, or book the special Friends of Matilda package, where you will be treated to a welcome letter from the kitty herself, and a Matilda replica plush of your very own!



Anonymous said...

let us see the plushie excited to see it

Catsparella said...

I did see a girl holding one last night, but I didn't get a pic :(

Fluffy and Heather said...

Goodness, seems like a fabulous event, though I feel a little bit sorry for Sleepy Prince Charming. He looks a bit out of sorts! I'd like to see the plush as well if you have a picture!

Catsparella said...

Hey ladies! I found a picture of it here:

Ingrid King said...

That looks like it was so much fun. I had hoped to come up for it, but unfortunately, things didn't work out. Thanks for this comprehensive report!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

OMC this looked like it was a blast!!! What fun!!! Great coverage, I feel like I was there!

Clooney said...

Ragdolls rock! What a great event! Love the names of the cocktails and that cake looks amazing...too bad you didn't get to sample it.

Dana Humphrey said...

Thanks to Sturdi Products for donating a Double Show Shelter as a raffle prize!

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Looks like fun for a good cause. As mentioned in my article on Matilda, she's not fond of the flashy boxes.

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