The Other Cats at the Crescent Hotel

Cats, and possible cat ghosts, have been an attraction at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark. for 30 years.

Cats have lived on an off at the 1886 Crescent Hotel for more than 30 years.

The most famous of these was Morris, who came to the Crescent in 1979. When the hotel fell onto hard times and was boarded up, Morris stayed and kept guard. He remained when the Crescent reopened and stayed there until his death in 1994 at the grand old age of 21. A special cat door was made just for the big orange tabby on the back side of the lobby, with steps leading out to the hotel’s veranda. Known as “The General Manager,” visitors today claim they still see the ghost of Morris the Cat roaming the halls and basement.

Tiddles came to the hotel shortly after the death of Morris. He was a brown Siamese mix who made his home at the hotel for a few years. When Tiddles disappeared, then-owner Marty Roenigk brought in a white cat to replace him – but the hotel life didn’t suit this cat and he lasted just a week.

Frisco and Shadow
Frisco and Shadow were born at the Crescent in 2003. Frisco was a sweet girl who loved to sleep in the rooms with guests. She was a polydactyl cat — six toes on each front foot. She was comfortable around humans and had her share of run-ins with the hotel’s ghosts. Many guests caught her in photographs with apparent apparitions – and at least one says she tried to attack a ghost in her room! Shadow, a shy female, was jet black all over.  She usually managed to keep to her own devices, though late night visitors sometimes spotted her in the lobby. Shadow left the hotel in 2007, and Frisco was there until 2009.

Rufus, a big cat with a crooked tail, loved to be in photographs, especially wedding photos. Rufus reportedly showed up wherever a punch bowl could be found. Hotel staff members often had to shoo him out of the Crescent Conservatory right before a reception. Rufus came to the hotel in 2007 and left sometime in 2009.

Some say each of the Crescent cats have picked their successor, that Frisco actually found Rufus and that Casper arrived very shortly after Rufus disappeared. The cats have become an attraction themselves, with fans and former guests visiting them in the lobby even when they’re not staying the night.

There’s a grand tradition of cats at the 1886 Crescent Hotel.  As some have joked, the Crescent may have ghosts, but it doesn’t have mice.

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