The Slatest

With Biden, a Cat Will Be Living in the White House for the First Time in a Decade

President Bill Clinton had a cat named Socks, seen here on top of a deer in the White House garden on Dec. 25, 1994.
President Bill Clinton had a cat named Socks, seen here on top of a deer in the White House garden on Dec. 25, 1994. PAMELA PRICE/Getty Images

We already knew President-elect Joe Biden would be taking dogs back to the White House. But that’s not all. Now comes word that Biden will be taking a cat with him as well. Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, confirmed to CBS Sunday Morning that they will be getting a cat when they move into the White House. The future first lady had already hinted that she was thinking of taking a cat with her to the White House. “Well, I’d love to get a cat,” she said in an interview earlier this year. “I love having animals around the house.”

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It would mark the first time a president has a cat in the White House since George W. Bush had India, who was nicknamed Willie. But his two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, got most of the attention. India died shortly before Bush left the White House in January 2009. Bill Clinton’s Socks was by far the most popular White House feline in recent memory. Socks even got fan mail, which led to complaints from a Republican lawmaker, who questioned the use of government resources to answer the mail. He later laughed it off as a mistake and blamed a staff aide for coming up with the idea. Barack Obama had two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny while President Donald Trump is believed to be the first president since James Polk in 1849 to not have a pet in office. Only three other presidents didn’t have some sort of pet at the White House.

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The Bidens had already said that Champ and Major, their two german shepherds, will be moving into the White House. He even used it as a campaign slogan: “Let’s put dogs back in the White House.” And there was a campaign called Dog Lovers for Joe with its own website and a tagline that got some traction: “Choose your humans wisely.” Major will be the first rescue dog to live in the White House.

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