Willow settling into her new residence. ©The Color Archives | Alamy Stock Photo

My fellow Americans, meet your new First Cat: Willow, a gray-and-white tabby the Biden household has adopted for the White House and made the primary presidential cat after George W. Bush’s India.

Willow, who settled into her new residence in Washington, D.C., in late January, captured future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s coronary heart on the marketing campaign path in 2020 on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, the place she and future President Joe Biden stopped for a speech. The cat jumped up on the stage and interrupted Dr. Biden whereas she was talking. Seeing their speedy bond, the farm’s proprietor knew the kitty belonged with the Bidens. The First Lady’s hometown is Willow Grove, Pennsylvania — therefore, her cat’s namesake.

As everyone knows, cats are Internet entertainers. Hilarious political memes displaying First Cat Willow with cattitude and snark will in all probability begin showing on social media.

“Cats really are made for the Internet age,” says Andrew Hager, Historian-in-Residence on the Presidential Pet Museum (presidentialpetmuseum.com), which is briefly on-line whereas leaders seek for a brand new bodily location. “There’s just something about cats that takes that online presence to the next level in a way that dogs aren’t able to do.”

Presidential Cat People

First daughter Amy Carter with beloved Siamese Misty Malarky. ©ZUMA Press, Inc. | Alamy Stock Photo

Willow’s arrival has been a very long time coming, because the Bidens introduced their intention to get a cat after Joe Biden gained the election in November 2020. Since then, reporters have usually requested in regards to the standing of the cat, and the White House teased that the cat’s arrival was coming quickly.

While one of many Biden’s canines, Major, underwent coaching to get used to cats, Willow stayed at a foster residence. The German Shepherd, sadly, needed to be re-homed final 12 months due to a biting downside that led consultants to advocate a quieter atmosphere with household mates. Earlier, Champ, one other Biden German Shepherd, died. However, Willow will be a part of one canine brother on the White House: Commander, one other younger German Shepherd.

President Biden “seems like the kind of guy who would want to go play fetch,” says Andrew, a self-proclaimed cat individual. “I can definitely see Dr. Biden being more of a cat person.”

Cat vs. Dog Popularity

There have been 46 presidents, with canine lover Grover Cleveland serving because the twenty second and twenty fourth. Most of America’s presidents have had pets and, by far, the most typical pet has been canines; solely about 12 cats have lived on the White House, Andrew says.

©White House Photo | Alamy Stock Photo

He wrote the guide All-American Dogs: A History of Presidential Pets from Every Era, which Dey Street Books will launch in August. Dogs are in all probability extra common presidential pets as a result of they’re simpler to pose for picture ops, Andrew says. Except for Socks Clinton, who made a pleasant look in a photograph from the press-briefing room, one actually can’t image presidential cats posing and mingling with White House company. Both Bush’s India and Misty Malarky Ying Yang — the Siamese cat belonging to President Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy — tended to remain out of sight.

Surely, the soothing purr of a cat will assist the Bidens address the stress of the presidency, Andrew says.

“The White House is a stressful place for people and also for animals,” he provides.

There is quite a bit we nonetheless don’t find out about Willow at press time, and White House officers didn’t reply to requests for an interview. But simply understanding there’s a First Feline residing within the nation’s capital makes our cat-loving hearts go, “Meow!”

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