When he was operating for president, Joseph R. Biden Jr. mentioned it was time for a pet to be put back in the White House.
First it was introduced that Champ and Major, the German shepherds belonging to the president-elect and future first lady Jill Biden, would roam the White Home. And now, after an absence of greater than a decade, a cat is ready to additionally be a part of the ranks of presidential pets, Jane Pauley of “CBS Sunday Morning” reported on Twitter on Friday.
In an interview with Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., Dr. Biden hinted that if her husband received the presidency, she wouldn’t thoughts getting a cat.
“I’d like to get a cat,” she mentioned. “I like having animals round the home.”
The cat’s breed and identify weren’t instantly out there. Representatives for Mr. Biden didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Saturday.
The Bidens will likely be restoring a tradition of presidential pets after they transfer into the White Home in January, as President Trump opted to not have a pet throughout his time period. However the Bidens’ cat received’t be the primary within the White Home.
Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, William H. Seward, gave him two cats, Tabby and Dixie, mentioned Andrew Hager, historian-in-residence on the Presidential Pet Museum. Lincoln was a serious “cat fan,” Mr. Hager mentioned, and the president typically fed Tabby from the dinner desk regardless of his spouse’s criticism.
“At one level, he informed a pal that Dixie was ‘smarter than his complete cupboard’ and ‘didn’t discuss again, which was a bonus,’” Mr. Hager mentioned.
Different presidential cats embrace Tom Kitten, who belonged to Caroline Kennedy; Shan Shein, the Siamese cat of President Gerald Ford’s daughter, Susan; and Misty Malarky Ying Yang, who belonged to President Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy.
In all probability one of the crucial widespread cats within the White Home was Socks within the Clinton White Home.
The black and white cat was the protagonist of an unreleased Tremendous Nintendo recreation, “Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill,” and infrequently gained consideration from the information media, as he was the one White Home pet till the Clintons adopted a chocolate Lab named Buddy in 1997.
Jennifer Pickens, a White Home historian and writer of “Pets on the White Home: 50 Years of Presidents and Their Pets,” mentioned the emergence of the web had added to Socks’s recognition as a cartoon model of the cat greeted guests on the White House for Kids web site.
The final cat to reside within the White Home, India (who also had the nickname Willie), belonged to President George W. Bush. Her time on the White Home was typically overshadowed by the Bush household’s two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, Mr. Hager mentioned.
Protesters in Kerala, India, burned an effigy of Mr. Bush in July 2004 in protest of the cat’s identify, citing it as an insult to their nation, Mr. Hager mentioned. (Based on White House archives, the black shorthair cat was named after the previous Texas Rangers baseball participant, Ruben Sierra, who glided by the nickname El Indio.)
India died in January 2009, simply earlier than President Bush left the White Home.
Curiosity in presidential pets has grown through the years as the general public has gravitated to extra tales of life contained in the White Home, Ms. Pickens mentioned.
Pets can assist humanize presidents in addition to soften their picture, and with the Bidens’ latest addition, they may additionally characterize a president’s hopes for the nation beneath new management.
“Possibly that is symbolic of Biden’s oft-repeated want to unify the nation,” he mentioned. “I do know that that’s form of trite, however I’m very curious to see how this goes.”