Monday, February 18, 2013

Cats in the White House

Today is President's Day - a holiday originally created to celebrate the birthdays of US presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. It seems like the White House has gone to the dogs in recent years, but several cats have taken up residence there as well. Here's a list of all the presidential kitties in American history.

Did you know that the first cat that lived in the White House was owned by Abraham Lincoln? "Tabby" was the first cat to prevail (VBP) in the White House. Later on, Lincoln found three freezing kittens on a trip to General Grant's headquarters. He took all of them back to the White House with him.

Rutherford B. Hayes, our 19th president, had a cat named "Siam". Siam was apparently the first Siamese cat to ever live in the United States. He was a gift to President Hayes' wife from the American consul in Bangkok, Thailand. Hayes also had a cat named "Miss Pussy" and "Piccolomini".

The next cats to take over the White House were Tom Quartz and Slippers who belonged to the 26th president - Theodore Roosevelt. Tom Quartz was named after the cat in Roughing It by Mark Twain. Slippers was famous for her poly-dactyl (VBP) toes and lounging in inconvenient places.

Roosevelt's son Quentin with "Slippers".


Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president, had a cat named Puffins. Unfortunately, there isn't much information about Puffins on the internet. Wilson was an animal aficionado (VBP) though and also had a ram, sheep, birds, and two dogs.

The next president to bring cats into the White House was Calvin Coolidge. Tiger, Timmy, Smokey, and Blackie all came to live there. Coolidge's cat Tiger was often seen riding around on the president's neck. Tiger went missing and Coolidge called for help to find him through a radio announcement.

President Coolidge with his beloved "Tiger".

Cats didn't rule the roost again until 30 years later when President John F. Kennedy let his daughter bring her cat "Tom Kitten" to the White House. Unfortunately, Tom Kitten didn't stay there long due to Kennedy's allergies. When Tom Kitten passed away in 1962, he was given an obituary in the Washington newspaper.

"Shan" belonged to the 38th President Gerald Ford's daughter, Susan. Shan was a Siamese cat. Shan slept in Susan's bed at night and spent her time with the first lady while Susan went to school during the day.

Susan Ford and "Shan".

Jimmy Carter's daughter had a cat with an interesting name - Misty Malarkey Ying Yang. This kitty was also a Siamese.

Amy Carter with Misty Malarkey Ying Yang. 

Our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, had a cat named "Socks" who moved in with the family in 1993. Socks was a handsome tuxedo cat who lived to be 20 years old.

"Socks" presiding over a White House press conference.

India "Willie" Bush was the last cat to live in the White House and belonged to President George W. Bush. India was an all black cat who had been a member of the Bush family for many years before moving into the whitehouse with them.

"India" with former First Lady, Laura Bush.

Who's your favorite "First Cat"? Happy President's Day! 


Thanks to Savannah, Jet, and Texas for hosting the Weekly Vocabulary Building Project!

24 comments:

  1. Happy Presidents day to you all. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. We had no idea there were so many kitties in the White House. I remember Socks, but didn't realize the Bushes had a cat too. Very interesting read!

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    1. The Bushes also had some calico cats that lived at their ranch I think. But apparently they never came to the White House.

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  3. Good to know there are some cats in the White House too. Now they need to work on getting a piggy in there. . . :-)

    Oink oink,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

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    1. That would be awesome Cocco! I agree!

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  4. Yep!! We knew! Actually we found out about Abraham Lincoln when we read the book that we reviewed last Friday. He was the only one we hadn't known about.

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  5. Nice to know there is room for kitties in the White House! :)

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  6. It just goes to show that Cats do rule. Look at them all in the White House. Course there were some good doggies there too. Great information and glad to know that the cats were ruling in that big White House.

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  7. I'm a fan of Socks ;o) ...and President Eisenhower had a Weimaraner, named Heidi ... just saying LOL ;o)

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    1. I think I'm a fan of Socks too Easy. He's super cute. I didn't know about the weim in the White House though.

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  8. I didn't know there had been so many cats in the White House.

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  9. Awwww, so cute!! I love India, what a great looking kitty.

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  10. I knew about the first cat, I'm so clever ( I read it somewhere the other day..LOL )Have a wonderful day :) xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  11. Woof! Woof! LOVE the name Slippers for a cat. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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  12. TW used to have a Socks t-shirt! She adored him—and his Dad.

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  13. Interesting post! I remember Socks, but wasn't aware of his predecessors. :-)

    Susan and Wrigs

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  14. Such a great bunch of kitties! I am partial, of course, to Tiger the tabby!

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  15. Who could pick just one cat, they all look nice!

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  16. We love them all, but we have always thought Socks was extra cute! :)

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  17. It's fun to think of all those pets in the White House. I think they're all pretty special. Thank you for visiting and saying happy birthday to Kelly!

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