Friends of Room 8 Medallion/Pendant (undated)

ArtifactFriends of Room 8 Medallion/Pendant
ConnectionFriends of Room 8
A Cat Called Room 8
Elysian Heights Elementary School
CollectionThe CFA Foundation Collection
DescriptionA gold colored medallion embossed with a cat image, "Friends of Room 8", "Elysian Heights School", and the years "1952" and "1968" on the front; embossed "Friendship Scholarship Knowledge" on the back.
Brief HistoryA cat, named Room 8 by students, showed up regularly at the Elysian Heights Elementary School for 16 consecutive years.
AcquisitionDonated to The CFA Foundation by an anonymous donor, date unknown.

'Friends of Room 8' Medallion/Pendant
Photos: Larry Johnson. Courtesy of The CFA Foundation, Inc.

"One school day in 1952 a large but rather thin, shorthaired, grey-striped tabby cat turned up and wandered into a sixth-grade (Year 6) classroom, where he jumped up, walked on desks in a friendly manner and was welcomed by the children. "3

According to the book, A Cat Called Room 8, the tabby cat made himself at home on a desk while the class was out for recess. When they returned, they found that he had helped himself to their lunches while they were away. After lunch that day, the cat wandered away through the playground. But, he was back the next day ... and every shool day thereafter for the next 16 years.1

The name "Room 8" came from the room number of the class where the cat had made himself at home. He visited from desk to desk, and napped wherever he chose to. Children shared their lunch with him. When the school started a library, and needed bookplates, one of the students drew a picture of Room 8.

Above left: A Cat Called Room 8, by Virginia Finley & Beverly Mason, 1966. 1
Above right: Title page of A Cat Called Room 8, signed by the authors and illustrators, with Room 8 pawprint impression.

Photos: Larry Johnson. Courtesy of The CFA Foundation, Inc.

Eventually, stories about Room 8 reached the press and the school's cat became famous with articles printed in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, among others. TV channels filmed stories about Room 8 and he became known world-wide, requiring a student to act as his secretary to answer his fan mail.

Room 8 died in 1968 at the Lockhart Pet Hospital in Hollywood, California, at the age of 21 years. He is buried in the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park, Calabases, Los Angeles County, California. His grave is marked with a headstone with his photograph on it. 2

After the death of Room 8, the school's neighborhood started a fundraiser for a memorial. In 1976, a mural memorializing Room 8 was painted by Denis Fitzpatrick and Michael Chaffey on the exterior of Elysian Heights Elementary School. In addition, "enough money was raised to sponsor a bed at Orthopedic Hospital in downtown LA."4

A mural memorializing a cat called Room 8, painted on the exterior of Elysian Heights Elementary School, 1976.
Photo: ©Robin Dunitz. Used with permission.


  1. A Cat Called Room 8 by Virginia Finley & Beverly Mason, 1966
  2. Find A Grave Memorial,
  3. "Purr'n'Fur Famous Felines",
  4. Robin Dunitz "Slides of Los Angeles Murals, 1925-2002", University of Southern California, Digital Library

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