Bits and Bytes
By DIANA WALDHUBER
August 19, 2009
Last Wednesday the Algonquin Hotel, in New York City, was a hive of feline activity -- and PetMD was there for all the action. Cats in a hotel? Yes, most definitely.
Not only is the Algonquin hotel a place you can bring your feline friends with you when you visit (or your canine friends, for that matter), but they have a resident cat. In fact, they’ve had a resident feline since the 1930s, where the owner took in a bedraggled stray. That stray certainly landed on his paws, because he rubbed shoulders with all kinds of celebrities, and drank his water out of a crystal champagne flute! Now that’s living.
Ever since that first cat, named Hamlet, the Algonquin has had a feline to watch over everything.
Wednesday, August 12, however, was an especially memorable day for the Algonquin. Matilda, the current resident feline and former cat show winner, celebrated her thirteenth birthday. This gorgeous Ragdoll had initially had many birthday wishes, including to be petted by Johnny Depp (a wish shared by many, human and cat alike), and though it didn’t come true, she did get another: A cat fashion parade.
Show cats from the Westchester Feline Club strutted the catwalk in various costumes, including a geisha, hula dancer, Elvis impersonator, and a ballerina (some of these beauties even modeled multiple "looks"), then donned birthday hats to help in singing (and wishing) Matilda a very happy birthday. By then, Matilda had decided to swan off to do whatever it is a celebrity cat does, but she did make a reappearance on her favorite luggage trolley.
It was a purr-fect evening where the wine flowed, cats in fancy dress purred, and delicious food from the Algonquin’s restaurant was feasted upon. Songs were sung and the cats were all stars!
Matilda even had her portrait up for all to see and an amazing cake, created with her 3-d likeness. In fact, the cake was an incredible homage of her sitting on her chaise lounge (yes, she has one in the lobby that she likes to curl up on). And we can say that PetMD were the only guests there who were privileged enough to get a taste. The kindly concierge saw us taking pictures of the cake and offered us a slice -- a slice! -- and a glass of wine, after the party ended.
But don’t worry, nobody else at the party missed out. There was another official cake that was handed out to everyone earlier in the evening.
It wasn’t only a night for glitz, glamour, and seriously gorgeous fur, the night was held as a benefit for the North Shore Animal League America, a no kill shelter and rescue organization, and also one of the biggest shelters in the U.S. PetMD was more than happy to make their anonymous donation at the door.
A world without our animal friends would be a sad one, indeed.
And, the celebration was a major success. All thanks to the dynamic, friendly, and down-to-earth staff of the Algonquin hotel. I’ve been to less swanky places with huge attitudes, but this hotel displayed no hoity-toity behavior or graces; they were fantastic and if I ever need a place to stay in NYC, it’s definitely going to be there. It’s a bonus to be able to take my beloved cat with me (he gets so miserable in a cattery), but to have people give you service that seems to be a lost art elsewhere is the icing on the cake.
I am more than looking forward to the next birthday bash for Matilda at the Algonquin, and PetMD will be there to report all the shenanigans for you. And, if you’re ever in NYC, either stay at the Algonquin with your pet, or visit the restaurant for a drink or a bite to eat. You won’t regret it. Any place that loves pets ever so much is a winner in our book. Don’t you agree?