Room 8 Cat (1947–1968)- The Adventures of a Cat that made History.
Over 50 years ago, there lived a cat lovingly named Room 8 who, by his own choice, adopted a classroom at a local school.
Room 8 was a neighborhood cat who wandered into a classroom in 1952 at Elysian Heights Elementary School in Echo Park, California.
During the school year, he lived in the school and then disappeared for the summer, returning when classes started again. This pattern continued without interruption until the mid-1960s.
Every year when school was back in session, it would always be a celebration of sorts.
Because that was when newspapers and News cameras from local television stations made their arrival on the first day of the school year.
The celebration was geared for the cat’s return, as everyone waited for him to make his way back for the new school year.
“Perhaps one reason we are fascinated by cats is that such a small animal can contain so much independence, dignity, and freedom of spirit. Unlike the dog, the cat’s personality is never bet on a human. On the contrary, he demands acceptance on his own terms.” – Lloyd Alexander.
Room 8: A Lesson in Cathood
Room 8 Cat became famous, and some people say that at the time, he would receive up to 100 letters a day addressed to him at the school. It wasn’t long until he was featured in “Big Cat, Little Cat,” a documentary film.
He also was a protagonist in a children’s book: “A Cat Called Room 8.”
Look magazine ran a three-page “Room eight” feature by photographer Richard Hewett in November 1962, titled “Room 8: The School Cat”. Leo Kottke wrote an instrumental called “Room 8,” included in his 1971 album, Mudlark.
Room 8 was injured during a catfight and suffered from feline pneumonia during his old age. So, a family near the school volunteered to adopt and take him in. The arrangement was that the school’s janitor would find him at the end of the school day and carry him across the street to the family’s house.
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