At the time of writing this article, Barack Obama is the President of the USA and alas, there are no cats living with the first family in the White House. This administration's Presidential Pet is a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.
Previous American Presidents and their families have kept a variety of animals as pets and they weren't all dogs and cats either. The list includes horses, cows, goats, parrots as well as other birds, and some pretty exotic specimens like raccoons, tigers, bear cubs, alligators, and even a pygmy hippo!
Not surprisingly, quite a few White House residents were of the feline sort. Let's take a look at some famous Presidential cats who have left their paw marks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C:
- Abraham Lincoln - a cat called Tabby. This is actually the first record of a domestic cat owned by the First Family. Previous presidents seem to have preferred dogs and horses.
- Rutherford B. Hayes - three cats named Piccolomini, Miss Pussy and Siam. The latter two were Siamese cats.
- William McKinley - two angora cats named Valeriano Weyter and Enqrique DeLome.
- Theodore Roosevelt - two cats named Tom Quartz and Slippers. Slippers actually lived in the White House and not in the President's private residence.
- Woodrow Wilson - a cat named Puffins.
- Calvin Coolidge - a rescued stray named Tiger.
- John F. Kennedy - a cat called Tom Kitten who shared the First Family's home with a full menagerie including dogs, horses, parakeets and hamsters!
- Gerald Ford - a Siamese cat called Shan.
- Jimmy Carter - Misty Malarky Ying Yang was the name of Amy Carter’s Siamese cat.
- Bill Clinton - perhaps the most famous Presidential Pet and certainly the most famous feline: Socks the cat.
- George W. Bush - a black cat named India. Although the name was somewhat controversial, due to the association of the country of India with the black color, the cat had actually been named after baseball player Ruben Sierra AKA El Indio.