2006_07_matildacat.jpgHow many people have emailed Matilda, the Algonquin Hotel cat? After yesterday's NY Times City section story about the midtown hotel's furry mascot, which included her email address (matildaalgonquincat (at)algonquinhotel(dot)com), Gothamist wondered what if Matilda - and the woman who answers her emails (keyboards aren't very paw friendly), Alice de Almeida - will be seeing some more odd email. Here's some of what she gets now:

Every two weeks, one woman mails a package to Matilda containing cryptic collages; recent ones have featured images of a rabbit on a moped and of the Geico gecko...

For the most part, the people who send e-mail messages to Matilda are animal lovers looking for a lark. Some are literary types who wax poetic about the hotel's famous Round Table. Others are past guests who thank Matilda for serving as their pet away from home. A visitor from Japan deemed her a cat with "dignity, patience and discretion," before apologizing to Matilda for smelling like catnip but not bringing any.

Plus, an inmate on death row wrote her, as well as a hotel guest who learned a little about moving on from the help of the cat. De Almeida said, "You can say things to strange people that you don't want to share with your friends and family. You can get things off your chest." In other words, Matilda is the new Post Secret, 'cept only a cat and de Almeida will know.

Here is Matilda's page on the Algonquin website. Matilda is a beautiful Birman cat. The Birman personality, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association, is "gentle, active, playful, but quiet and unobtrusive if you are busy with other things." And according to Shopcat, her birthday is supposed to be celebrated...today?