Tag Archive for: Room 8

All this talk about the oil spill and approval ratings is turning me prematurely gray. Let’s discuss something lighthearted and fun this Friday, shall we?

Once upon a time, way back in the early 1950s, there lived a cat called Room 8. He was a stray tabby that wandered into Elysian Heights Elementary School one day in 1952. He lived there throughout the school year only leaving when the children did at the beginning of the summer. And every year for over fifteen years he would return in September in time for the start of class.

The children of Elysian Heights loved him dearly as did people across the country. He is said to have received thousands of fan letters in his lifetime and was featured in both Time and Look magazine. Leo Kottke even wrote a song about him. Wait. Really?! Leo Kottke is awesome!

According to the Wikipedia entry (yes, he even has his own Wikipedia page), “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.”

Room 8 passed away in 1968. He received a lengthy obituary in the Los Angeles Times and in publications as far away as Connecticut.  Today, a mural outside of the school still bears his likeness. And every new class is read the book A Cat Called Room 8 by Virginia Finley and Beverly Mason.