Socks the Cat Dead at 19 – And the 10 Oddest Presidential Pets
Being somewhat of a cat person (or should I call myself a person owned by cats?), I can’t let the passing of Clinton cat Socks go without a mention. The former first cat, who resided with former White House secretary, Betty Currie was put down on Friday after suffering from cancer of the jaw. Socks was a very respectable 19 years of age.
White House pets have always been a part of presidential history. And they haven’t always been the “garden-variety” species of dogs, cats and goldfish. Thanks to petsplace.com for this list of the strangest animals to roam the White House halls. Umm…non-human that is.
10 Oddest Presidential Pets
- Pygmy hippo: Calvin Coolidge, 30th President
- Alligator: John Quincy Adams, 6nd President
- Elephant: James Buchanan, 15th President.
- Zebra: Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President
- Antelope: Calvin Coolidge, 30th President
- Bears: Thomas Jefferson, 3nd President; Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President; Calvin Coolidge, 30th President
- Coyote: Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President
- Hyena: Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President
- Tigers/lions: Martin Van Buren, 8th President; Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President; Calvin Coolidge, 30th President
- Wallaby: Calvin Coolidge, 30th President
For more on presidential pets, check out these books:
- Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets by Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Millie’s Book as dictated to Barbara Bush
- First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends by Roy Rowan & Brooke Janis
- Presidential Pets by Niall Kelly
- Horses of the Presidents by Leah C. Taylor
- Wackiest White House Pets by Kathryn Gibbs Davis (Reading level: Ages 9-12)
- President Adams’ Alligator and Other White House Pets by Peter Barnes (Reading level: Ages 9-12)
- First Dog Fala by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk (Reading level: Ages 4-8)
Did you know that there is a Presidential Pet Museum in Williamsburg, VA? “The Presidential Pet Museum was founded in 1999 as a repository and means of preserving information, artifacts, and items related to the Presidential Pets…The Museum highlights past and current White House Pets.” You can see a list of the presidential pets on their web site too.