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Meet 4 cats who called the White House home

Along with dogs, cats are one of the most popular pets in the United States. No wonder there were more than a few feline friends in the White House. We think presidents should go a step further and include their cats as key advisers, but hey, we’re not the ones who write the rules. If cats could be elected president, there would be a compulsory nap, infinitely full food and catnip would be legal. Since cats cannot be presidents, we will be content to review the cats of our previous presidents. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Jimmy Carter: Misty Malarky Ying Yang

First daughter Amy Carter with her Siamese cat Misty Malarky Ying Yang. Approx. 1978. Photography by Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo.

Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy’s cat, a Siamese named Misty Malarky Ying Yang, roamed the White House.

2. George W. Bush: India “Willie” Bush

India “Willie” Bush took over the White House during the reign of George W. Bush. India, an all-black cat, was acquired at the request of the Bush daughters at the age of nine, but when the young women went to college, the cat was taken over by Bush and his wife Laura. Not a problem as it meant that India would have free White House reach after Bush was elected to office.

3. Bill Clinton: socks

Adopted during Bill Clinton’s tenure, the cat Socks never got along with Buddy, Clinton’s chocolate lab, and the two were relegated to separate quarters of the White House. An animated version of Socks took children on tours of the White House. Due to the escalating conflict between Socks and Buddy, Socks had to stay in the White House after the Clintons moved out.

4. Gerald Ford: Shan

Along with Gerald Ford’s Golden Retriever Liberty, Shan, a Siamese cat, ran the president’s family business. The cat would curl up with daughter Susan Ford at night.

Featured photo: President Bill Clinton with the cat’s socks on his shoulder. March 7, 1995. Photography by Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo.

This post was originally published in 2015.

Continue reading: Should we vote on the first cat or dog?

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