Matilda’s Charity Party Was the Cat’s Meow

Every year Matilda, the resident cat at New York’s landmark Algonquin Hotel, hosts a glittering party which benefits her favorite charity, the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals. It’s an event that draws cat lovers and a barrage of media from around the world.

On August 5, Matilda honored members of NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad who, in the line of duty, have worked tirelessly to save cats and kittens from death and emergency situations. The special guests included Detective Lisa Bergen, who rescued three cats from under a trailer during a snowstorm in Staten Island earlier this year. Detective Bergen spent hours in the whiteout blizzard coaxing a cat and two tiny kittens out from under a trailer. They would most certainly have frozen to death. She then took it upon herself to find them all loving forever homes.


Catourier Ada Nieves and Thunder Folds dressed as a Red Cross volunteer.

A highlight of the event, which brings out professional photographers (including a team from Vanity Fair magazine) and smartphone addicts, is the cat fashion show. And this year, Matilda’s favorite catourier Ada Nieves themed the feline fashions to honor New York’s Finest as well with a fashion extravaganza titled A Feline Salute to NYC’s First Responders. The mewdels dressed up as firemen, policemen, nurses and emergency medical technicians to honor them.

For the third consecutive year, Pet Health Central has been a generous sponsor of this event. All the guests, as well as the mewdels, got to take home a Sentry Calming Collar as a gift. The collars, infused with natural ingredients such as chamomile are ideal to keep cats calm both at home and on trips to the vet and the mewdels took full advantage of them, too!

Guests got to hang out with the mewdels in the feline green room while sipping special cocktails which included Matilda’s own signature cocktail, the Matilda, a champagne-based drink, along with purrtinis and marpurritas created specially for the occasion. They nibbled on inter alia buffalo chicken ravioli made with celery root and buffalo tomato jam, rock shrimp corn fritters served with a corn relish, spring onion donuts and indulged in Chef Jon Lovitch’s dessert buffet. There was no counting of calories at this party!

The hotel has had a resident feline since the 1920s. The current resident Matilda is the 11th cat to reside at the famous hotel that is equally well known for the famous Round Table of literary greats that included Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley who lunched there every day for ten years. And in fact, it was another regular guest, Broadway star John Barrymore, who named the first Algonquin cat Hamlet, after the part he was playing on Broadway at the time.


The furbulous Matilda.

Matilda herself made a guest appearance by greeting guests at the front desk and posing for a barrage of press photographers before going off to snooze in her custom built cat tree.

Photo caption, above: Detective Lisa Bergen who was honored for her work with the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad featured here with her feline counterpart Tigger and his proud mom.

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