Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not local but awwweeeeinspiring: Lending a helping paw

Cat never missed a day of class at Elysian Heights Elementary School for more than 16 years



 Room 8 Memorial Cat Foundation steps in to lend a paw

Volunteering at Room 8 Memorial Cat Foundation in Riverside, Calif., turned Gail Shelton into a full-fledged cat person. She'd never had a cat of her own, but caring for and getting to know the kitties at the shelter quickly taught her just how expressive, funny, and unique cats can be.
“When I started volunteering, I had no idea that cats really had personalities,” she says. “They’re amazing -– and watch them when they’re mad. When a dog wags his tail, he’s happy. When a cat wags his tail, you’d better watch out.”
Room 8 the shelter is named for Room 8 the cat.
Shelton’s animal-rescue journey started in 1996, when her mother, a caretaker at the shelter, invited her to help her clean litter boxes one day. “I’ve been here ever since,” she says. Her husband, Jack, is a cat person, too. They bonded over their mutual love of animals and were married last March, and together they manage Room 8.
The shelter was founded in 1972 by Hettie L. Perry, also known as the Cat Lady of Pasadena. Before opening the shelter in Riverside, Perry cared for countless stray, feral, and homeless cats in her private house and barn. When Shelton’s mother took over after Perry passed away in 1996, she found more than 260 cats on Perry’s property, which Perry had fed and cared for using her Social Security money.
“She was a woman in love with her animals,” Shelton says. “She never, ever said no to anyone.”
Perry gave the shelter its distinctive name after being inspired by a children’s book about a cat named Room 8. In 1952, a brown tabby took up residence in room 8 of Elysian Heights Elementary School in Los Angeles, befriending teachers and students. For more than 16 years, the cat never missed a day of class. Perry decided that Room 8 the cat would be her shelter’s mascot.
Learn more about the past and present of Room 8 in this video:

Click here to read rest of story.

No comments:

Post a Comment