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Celebrate Presidents’ Day with Our Nation’s First Cats

India, Socks, Misty Malarky Ying Yang -- these are some of our esteemed presidential cats. Stand to attention!

Liz Acosta  |  Feb 18th 2013

It’s Presidents’ Day, and we hope you get today off to reflect on the noble legacy of the highest office in the land … or to buy furniture or a car at rock-bottom prices!

Next to dogs, cats are among the most popular pets in the United States, so it’s no surprise that the White House has been home to more than a couple feline friends. We think presidents should go one step further and include their cats as important advisors, but hey, we’re not the ones writing the rules. If cats could be elected president, there would be mandatory nap time, infinitely full food dishes, and catnip would be legal. Since cats can’t be president, we’ll settle for reviewing past First Cats.

Here’s some of our favorite First Cats:

India “Willie” Bush took up occupancy of the White House during George W. Bush’s administration. India, an all-black kitty, was acquired at the request of the Bush daughters when they were nine-years-olds, but once the young women went off to college, the cat went into the care of Bush and his wife, Laura. Not a problem, since that meant India got free range of the White House once Bush was elected to office.

Adopted during Bill Clinton’s administration, Socks the cat 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 guided children on White House tours. Due to escalating conflict between Socks and Buddy, Socks got to remain in the White House after the Clintons moved out.

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

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

Happy Presidents’ (and First Cats’) Day!

Read more about cats with political ambitions: