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 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 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 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!