Serving the communities of Elysian Heights and Great Echo Park, Elysian Heights Elementary was once the home of one of the most famous cats in the world. One day in 1952, a large gray-striped tabby cat surprised EHS students by wandering into a classroom and staying on campus until the end of lunch. He left as mysteriously as he had appeared. The cat returned for class the next morning, and after a few days of this pattern it became clear that the friendly feline had adopted Elysian Heights Elementary. Although he roamed the halls and slept wherever he pleased, he was named after the classroom where he made his debut: Room 8. When EHS closed for summer vacation, Room 8 vanished. On the first day of school the following September, Room 8 returned, once again showing up every day like clockwork. Room 8 repeated this routine every year for over 15 years and never missed a day. Room 8 also sat front and center in almost every 6th grade class photo from 1953 until 1967.
Word spread about Room 8, and by 1962 he had become an international celebrity. He was featured in countless newspapers and news programs, as well as TIME, Look, Weekly Reader, Art Linkletter's House Party, and a 1968 documentary, Big Cats, Little Cats. Room 8 received over 10,000 fan letters while he lived at EHS - most were answered by EHS students, aka his "secretaries." In 1966, the Room 8 story was told in the classic children's book, A Cat Called Room 8. Room 8 passed away in 1968 at the ripe old age of 22. His obituary ran in the Los Angeles Times and in papers as far away as Hartford, Connecticut. He is buried at the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas. Room 8 is immortalized throughout the EHS campus with paintings, photographs and even sketches in cement.