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Socks (cat)




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Socks
Socks-clinton.jpg
Socks photographed on the South Lawn of the White House
Other appellation(s)First Cat
SpeciesCat
BreedDomestic short-haired cat ("moggie" or mixed breed)
SexMale
Born1989 (estimated)
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedFebruary 20, 2009 (aged 19)
Hollywood, Maryland, U.S.
OccupationFirst Cat
Years activeJanuary 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
OwnerBill Clinton
Betty Currie
AppearanceBlack and White "Tuxedo"

Socks Clinton (1989 – February 20, 2009) was the pet cat of U.S. President Bill Clinton and his family while he was in the White House.

Socks was an adopted stray cat and the only pet of the Clintons during the first years of Clinton's presidency. A picture of Socks was always on the children's White House website.[1] After Clinton left office, Socks went to live with Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie and her husband. This was because Socks fought a lot with the Clinton family dog Buddy. Socks never got along with the dog.[2][3]

Biography

Socks became the pet cat of the Clintons in 1991 after he jumped into Chelsea Clinton's arms at her piano teacher's home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Socks was playing with his sibling, Midnight, who was later adopted by another family.[4]

When Bill Clinton became President, Socks moved with the family from the governor's mansion in Arkansas to the White House. Even though he was the official 'first pet', he shared his food and water with a stray tabby cat, named Slippers. Socks was often taken to schools and hospitals to visit. Children visiting the White House website would be shown around by a cartoon version of Socks.[1]

In December 2002, Socks was part of the Little Rock, Arkansas Christmas parade.

Buddy

Things changed for the worse for Socks in 1997. The Clintons got a pet dog named Buddy, a Labrador Retriever. Socks hated this dog. Hillary Clinton said Socks "despised Buddy from first sight, instantly and forever." Bill Clinton said, "I did better with ... the Palestinians and the Israelis than I've done with Socks and Buddy."[5] When the Clintons left the White House in 2001, they took Buddy to their new home, but left Socks with Betty Currie. Buddy died within a year, being hit by a car in 2002.[6]

Later life and death

In June 2008, Socks was still living with Currie and her husband in Hollywood, Maryland, about 60 miles from Washington. But Socks was losing weight and losing his fur.[7] In December 2008, Socks was again reported to be in failing health from cancer.[8] Socks was euthanized on February 20, 2009, in Hollywood, Maryland.[9] He had cancer in his jaw.[10]

Socks the cat at the podium in the White House Press Briefing Room.

Letters written to Socks

First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote a children's book called Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets in 1998.[11] It included more than 50 letters written to the First Pets by children. It had more than 80 photos of Socks and Buddy.

A Republican Representative in the United States Congress, Dan Burton once argued against the use of White House employees, postage, and stationery being used to answer mail that was written to the cat.[12]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  2. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  3. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  4. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  5. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  7. "Socks still rocks", Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, June 6, 2008. Accessed; May 19 2015
  8. "Clinton's Socks the Cat Near Death", U.S. News, December 12, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2015
  9. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  10. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  11. Clinton, Hillary, Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets, Simon & Schuster, 1998,

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-684-85778-2,

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 978-0-684-85778-7
  12. Lua error in ...nsions/Scribunto/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).

Other websites

Media related to Socks (cat) at Wikimedia Commons