Take a letter: Writing for a celebrity cat is not for everyone

Cats write lousy letters. That’s why many of the students who attended Elysian Heights Elementary during the 1960s were drafted to serve as “secretaries” to the school’s famous feline mascot, a cat called  Room 8. Room 8 cat (who was named after a favored classroom) is said to have received thousands of letters from fans during his long reign at the school, and it was the job of fifth and sixth graders to respond to those kitty letters, which were signed with a stamp of Room 8’s paw print, said former Elysian Heights student Roger Vargo.

But there were some kids who were not thrilled as serving as a ghost writer for an old cat. A story in Echo Park Patch about artist and former Elysian Heights student Jacinto Guevara recounts how he flunked as a cat secretary:

I didn’t write very many because I refused to write in the ridiculous first-person as they kept demanding. Kids at schools around the country would write to Room 8 and ask crap like ‘do “you” like cat nip and chase mice?’ I‘d write back, “No, I don’t like cat nip and chasing mice, but I’m sure Room 8 likes cat nip, but he couldn’t chase a mouse if his depended on it because he’s so old and his stomach touches the ground when he walks.



  1. OK- that made my morning. Jacinto I hoep you are 1/2 as funny today.
    But that aside, I think that was a GREAT writing assisment.

  2. Hahaha theres always defectors to make things interesting. Virginia Finley was one of my favorite teachers growing up though. Great instructor!

  3. LOL letters from the curmudgeon cat.

  4. Is that the same Room 8 that is buried at LA Pet Park in Calabasas? I did not know his story, so seeing this is kinda cool. Any more background info?

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