Former White House Cat Battles Cancer

Socks the cat also suffers from kidney problems, weight loss.

Posted: Dec. 20, 2008, 3 a.m. EST

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Socks the cat
Socks the cat occupied the White House from 1993 through 2000.

Socks the cat, who served as “first cat” during the Clinton administration's eight years, has been diagnosed with cancer and is not expected to survive.

The 18-year-old black-and-white feline was adopted by Chelsea Clinton in 1991 in Little Rock, Ark., where he lived in the governor’s mansion before moving to the White House in 1993, according to news reports. The news about Socks was first reported in a recent U.S. News & World Report’s Whispers blog.

In addition to cancer, the blog reports, Socks also suffers from weight loss and kidney problems, and is not expected to live much longer. Socks has been living with Betty Currie, President Clinton’s former personal secretary, in southern Maryland since 2001.

The Whispers blog said that Socks has been perhaps “the most photographed presidential kitty in history.”

Presidential historian Barry Landau — a longtime friend of  Currie's — told that the Clintons have been made aware of the situation and were trying to schedule a visit to see him.

During his years in the White House, Socks was the subject of the book "Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to First Pets." In his "retirement" years with Currie, he has made public appearances with her at animal-welfare events and at events for military families.


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Reader Comments

Oberon123    Washington, DC

8/18/2009 7:33:12 PM

The fact that the Clintons were perfectly able to afford to keep Socks and yet gave him away says more about these people than any words that have come out of their mouths. Then there's the fact that Buddy was running loose and was hit and killed by a car. I hope that Socks has had a good life despite having irresponsible first owners.

Donna    Jacksonville, FL

2/21/2009 11:50:54 AM

It's always hard to say good bye. Sorry for your loss. I know Socks is in heaven where he no longer suffers. I still morn the loss of another tuxedo kitty from kidney failure many years ago. Maybe Socks and Boots will meet and be friends?

mike    chicago, IL

2/20/2009 4:09:46 PM

Dear Socks,

The question never asked: what did U know, and when did U know it?

Erich    Escondido, CA

1/21/2009 1:02:54 PM

Sorry to hear of your troubles, Socks - love and dearest wishes to you in this time and always,

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