Room 8

Room 8

Infobox Animal
name = Room 8

caption =
birthname =
othername =
species = Cat
breed =
gender = Male
birthdate = 1947
birthplace = Elysian Heights, CA
deathdate = 13 August 1968
deathplace = Elysian Heights, CA
restingplace = Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park
restingplacecoordinates =
relativeage =
nationality =
occupation =
employer =
role =
yearsactive =
known =
awards =
title =
term =
predecessor =
successor =
owner = Elysian Heights Elementary School
parents =
children =
weight =
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appearance =
namedafter =
website =

Room 8 was a neighborhood cat that wandered into a classroom at Elysian Heights Elementary School, Echo Park, California. He would live in the school during the school year and then disappear for the summer, returning when classes started again.cite web|url=|title=Room 8, The Most Famous Cat in Los Angeles|last=Vargo|first=Roger|date=05-2008|publisher=Explore Historic California|accessdate=2008-05-27]

News cameras would arrive at the school at the beginning of the year waiting for the cat's return; he became famous and would receive up to 100 letters a day addressed to him at the school. Eventually, he was featured in a documentary called "Big Cat, Little Cat" and a children's book called "Room 8" was written as well. "Look" magazine ran a three-page feature by photographer Richard Hewett in November 1962, titled "Room 8: The School Cat". Leo Kottke wrote an instrumental called "Room 8" that was included in his 1971 album, "Mudlark".

As he got older, he was injured in a cat fight and suffered from pneumonia, so a family near the school volunteered to take him in. The school's janitor would find him at the end of the school day and carry him across the street.

His obituary in the "Los Angeles Times" rivaled that of major political figures, running three columns with a photograph. The cat was so famous that his obituary ran in papers as far away as Hartford, Connecticut. The students raised the funds for his gravestone.

Elysian Heights Elementary School has a wall mural on the outside of the school that features Room 8, and the teachers read his book to each new class.

In 1972, a cat shelter was started in his name called The Room 8 Memorial Foundation.

Further Reading

* "A Cat Called Room 8", Virginia Finley and Beverly Mason, illustrated by Valerie Martin, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1966, ISBN 0-399-60085-X, LCCN 66-14332.


* [ Room 8 at Find A Grave]
* [ City of Echo Park]
* [ Los Angeles Times August 14, 1968, Section C, Page 1]
* [ The Hartford Courant August 1968]

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