Algonquin Hotel’s Matilda Tethered By Bureaucracy

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Health regulations have hamstrung an 80-year-old tradition at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. Once known as the home of the Algonquin Round Table that brought together famous journalists, playwrights, and sports writers, the hundred year old Midtown landmark was also noted for its free roaming cats. For over eighty years, Algonquin guests were treated to a lobby cat usually bearing the name Matilda.  Alas, NY City Health Department regulations have doomed the hoary tradition.  A spokesperson for the Department tells us that, “According to the New York City Health Code, live animals are not allowed in food service establishments (except for edible fish, shellfish, or crustacean) unless a patron needs a service dog.”

Not wishing to run afoul of the regulations  and hoping to avoid the hefty fine, Algonquin management have confined Matilda III to the arrival area, behind the reception desk, and to her favorite spot, the coat room. Matilda has never bitten or scratched a guest and she has quite a following. She has her own mail box and regularly receives mail. She’s  been featured in the New York Times when her collar was stolen.  A birthday party is thrown for Matilda every year by the staff.  She even has a page on the hotel website.

The lobby cat was the idea of the luxury hotel’s owner,  Frank Case.  An animal lover, he once welcomed a stray cat into the hotel for some needed R & R and the tradition was born.  The Matildas are very popular with the guests and the recent change has left frequent visitors in a quandary. “People miss seeing Matilda moving around the lobby,’’ Manager Gary Budge said. “They miss that part of the connection they’ve previously enjoyed. But this is the right thing to do. As we know, everything changes.’’

The hotel has assigned staff  to watch over Matilda III and make sure she doesn’t violate the health code. No word yet on whether Matilda has agreed to the changes. I’m betting she’s indifferent.

Source:  NBC News

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

36 thoughts on “Algonquin Hotel’s Matilda Tethered By Bureaucracy”

  1. Thanks for the follow-up ID707, The great thing about the Internet is we’re all 0’s and 1’a, you can be anyone you want. But it takes work.

    1. I am increasingly working IRL now. Just to clarify that JT’s is not my all.
      Today is my “try the non-passive way” again. Doing OK so far. This is not a request for further assistance. Just a way of acknowledging and thanking you. BFN.

  2. May I say that I have thought of your claim that we can’t know others thoughts?. So true, and assuming we do is often misleading. But trust and relations are often built on assuming we do with someone we’ve known for a while. Very little experience, but do make that assumption anyway.

    Just yesterday evening, I reflected that I would wish to post here that we don’t even know our own minds.
    We get messages in various forms from our subconcious minds. We have no idea how the proposal, command, impulse was formed, nor of what validity the whole represents. It is just ours. To do or not to do, is that the conscious minds role or function?

    I say only that the conscious mind is a mouthpiece, not a director of which we feel we are a part of, responsible for, and too often believe the messages presented are ours to own and act on. “They” become “us” without our checking them out. How can we?

    Well yesterday, I discovered a form of acrophobia in myself. Acrophobia, another form of fear which has a name and limited area of stimulation. Well, mine’s not really that. It is that when faced with faces of other people strolling in the opposite direction I experience unease. No more details of that.

    But the point is that the result of my life is a big pack of fears, burdening me, hindring me, and stimulating me.
    Now it would be easier if I were aware of them. But I hid them, have continued to do so, don’t even feel them in my body.

    So my current process is to get in contact with them, and then I can reason with them, compromise with them, lead them to touching the germ-laden toilet seat (if I had that phobia, which I don’t), etc.

    So now knowing the cause of my unease with “meeting” people in public who pass me by, then I can now neutralize the impulses it generates, simply by saying I know you are there, and you really have no reason to fear. Because little fear, they are not the bad children who constantly attacked you when you were small.

    Assuming you are listening, thanks for that.
    Otherwise, I can imitate the role of the underling who has had his presumptions of knowledge taken from him. I can play many roles, perhaps badly, but be myself is often beyond me. Always want to show thankfulness. Who am I? Harder. I search.

  3. ID707, one never knows what’s in someone else’s mind. It’s a fact. Tolerances are reached by paths one can only guess at. Maybe after biting my tongue- or actually, just generally ignoring 27 various postings without rancor (that struck me the wrong way) I decided an off-putting bit of snark by a drop in would get a reply. Not even a harsh reply. For disturbing my pleasure. People are funny that way.

    So, you think I possibly impart some positive knowledge in my responses to you? Well, I’ve got you fooled! 🙂 But it’s a good first step in my plan for world domination, to borrow the goal of another poster.

    I had a semi-feral kitty that would bring us dead things. She was a good kat as was yours. She was mothering us/you. That trait in kats is a female thing in general. You know your kat loves you when she brings you wounded or dead things.

  4. Here I go chafing at the actions that I perceive as “policing” the threads here, when in actuality I adopt that position. Won’t get personal other than admitting it is a problem being worked on in other places. Sometimes it comes down to the mental challenge: “Who made you police here?”

  5. Chafing at the rsstraint of my low level talent I left the alliteration pickup game, rather that developing “blisters” of more permanent kind.

  6. GeneH,

    I am not often driven by that need, but rather to open the bin and strew all sorts out for admiring myself.
    Jewels and “pearls before” lawyers….the worlds best
    wordsmiths, authors poor seconds. Not saying they get a pass on morals, to the contrary. But some do, guess who. When he is that mood.

  7. ID707 in reply to MS: “I did not support KF other than saying that he has the right to be disruptive to deliver what is to him a pertinent message, truthfulness also beside the point.”

    Of course he does, the Professor has deemed it so and this is his joint. In the same vein though if KF chooses to be a drop-in and cast aspersion on this blawg (“inanity”)by chastising Mike over old news, then I have every latitude to humorously call him a dick for no reason beyond that he disturbed the wa of the thread for me.

    Srsly man, its a thread about a poor little oppressed kitty, a kitty! LOL

    I’m thinking you missed listing a stick-holder way closer to home than here in Missouri… 🙂

    1. Lotta,

      Good and smart man. How happy you made me. I will report to my shrink that he has competition. Not saying s”t about your intentions, just so you know.

      That is a rather smart but obvious choice. Most of our “things” are beating the wife instead of beating
      your boss. Surrogates are often all we have, if we are still nursing the hurt after many years and besides have forgotten who planted th stimulus.

      As for using you and GeneH instead of the ones who burned me, I did not say I was fair or even just.
      It’s at the point with me that it is a reflex action. At least it is that instead of swallowed feeling and an ulcer. Unfair to you. Yeah, will try to consider its validity or appropriate next time. But still feel KF was within his rights and your tolerance thresholds vv him should be higher. But that is my opinion.

      My adventure, in being a knight righting the wrongs of the world, is something which is triggered at the sight of browbeating or harassment, etc.

      Pesonally, I don’t feel I am always near right. But feel secure that when Lotta answers, you sometimes get a good diagnosis.

      Our cat Lusse could do a dialogue with us. When reproached for spending time in the forest grove across the road amd bringing home ticks, she started bringing “booty”, large wood rodents, home to show it was a worthy task she did there. We never ate them but respectfully acknowledged them.

  8. Mespo,

    You wrote in a comment addressed to me:

    “I don’t like to be categorized nor do the other guest bloggers. ”

    How should I not suppose that those words were directed to inform me due to some transgression on my part, as perceived by you.

    Thank you for the correction of that misapprehension on my part.

    Pardon my curiosity, but why should you edify me with your subject list? In what way did you deem it necessary?

  9. idealist:

    I didn’t say you “characterized” me or even that you “categorized” me. I simply gave you an overview of the topics that have interested me in the past. It was for your edification from someone who’s been on the blog since 2008. Nothing more; nothing less.

  10. Mespo,
    Telling me what you have written on is beside the point.
    I did not support KF other than saying that he has the right to be disruptive to deliver what is to him a pertinent message, truthfulness also beside the point.

    I did not characterize you at all. That to my mind would entail finding a word or phrase that explained a complex person, which we all are in common.

    I simply said that the instance he referred to—- which I, with the exception of perhaps two comments, did not participate nor öobserve the whole two days it went on—–was an example of your opinions where you received great opposition but did not back down at all.

    Your opionions of drone attacks differs from mine. So what, Your opinions are yours. To each his own.

    So I will just simply rebuff your assertion that I characterized you. Perhaps KF did. I don’t care what he does in his rellationship to you. And do not reach on the basis he cites, the same conclusion.

    Conclusions about people is a ridiculous idea. There never can be. Only one for the occasion and a basis for acting.

    You are definitely one of my favorites here. Whether it is drones or cats at the A. So rest assured, if what I say matters to you.

  11. idealist707:

    Just so you know, I ‘ve written on everything from the history of the Second Amendment to the death of Judge George Wythe to drone warfare to animal stories that show that some of those creature have as much “humanity” as many humans I know. I don’t like to be categorized nor do the other guest bloggers. The purpose is to entertain and provoke thought.

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