Famous cats and their owners throughout our history. To date the United States of America had 44 presidents, but only 12 of them had cats in the White House. Our famed cats may not receive as much press as the "First Dogs," but they have a long history in our nation's capital.
Abraham Lincoln,(16th President), was the first president to bring a cat into the White House. When Abe Lincoln assumed office, his son, Tad, asked to bring his cat - named Tabby, on the trip from Illinois to the nation's capital, Lincoln was compelled to agree.
"While Lincoln was in office, his wife, Mary Todd, was asked by a reporter if her husband had any hobbies. She promptly replied that the President was very fond of cats. Another incident which made Lincoln respected and loved by animal lovers was when Lincoln stumbled upon three kittens that were homeless and orphaned during the Civil War. He found them in a telegraph hut, and started asking the locals about their mother but when he was told that the mother cat dad died he took it upon himself to find the kittens a good home." (Quote taken from website "History King")
Rutherford B. Haynes, (19th President), had many pets including two Siamese cats named Siam and Miss Pussy. Siam was a gift from the American Consul in Bangkok, Thailand, to president's wife Lucy. Siam was the first documented Siamese to reach the United States in 1878.
William Mckinley, (25th President), had two Angora kittens named Valeriano Weyler and Enrique DeLome.
Theodore Roosevelt, (26th President), had two famous cats named Tom Quartz and Slippers.
Woodrow Wilson, (28th President), had a cat named Puffins.
Calvin Coolidge, (29th President), had a zoo at the White House. Among his collection of pets was an Alley cat named Tiger, Timmy, Blacky and a bobcat named Smoky.
John F. Kennedy, (35th President). Tom Kitten was J.F. Kennedy’s daughter’s (Caroline Kennedy) cat. Unfortunately the cat was not able to stay in the White House for a long time because of the president’s allergies. The cat was sent to a new home.
Gerald Ford, (38th President). Shan belonged to the President Ford's daughter, Susan Ford.
Jimmy Carter, (39th President), had a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang, which was his daughter's - Amy Carter, companion.
Ronald Reagan, (40th President), and his wife had two tortoiseshell strays cats, named Cleo and Sara.
Bill Clinton, (42th President), had a cat named Socks. During Bill Clinton's presidency Socks received more press than any other Presidential Cat. A cartoon version of Socks still hosts the children's version of the White House website and former First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote a children's book featuring Socks.
George W. Bush, 43th President), had a cat named India (“Willie”), which caused controversy. Willie was a black female American Shorthair and lived for almost two decades. Unfortunately, some people did not approve of the cat's name and protested.
In 2004 demonstrators in the southern Keralian city of Thiruvananthapuram believed that the cat's name was an insult to the nation of India and even burned an effigy of President Bush in protest. Although, the Bushes did not change the cat's name. The name was reportedly been given to the family cat by daughter, Barbara Bush.
More about Famous Cats & The White House: Feline lovers to Obama: Time to get a cat!
If you know of any Presidents or Leaders in your country that were/are also cat lovers, feel free to share with us!
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"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley
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