The anticipation is growing as the nation waits for the newest member of the Biden Administration to make their appearance… the First Feline of course! Here at the CatGazette we are on high alert (like catnip high alert) watching and tracking all of the news headlines about this mystery cat. Keep up with our updated timeline below to be in the know.
Here's What We Know
January 28, 2021: ABC News reports that the Biden's have officially adopted a cat and now have a first feline in the White House! She is a 2-year-old, green-eyed, gray and white farm cat from Pennsylvania named Willow.
June 3, 2021: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki jokes that the Biden Administration is waiting for a "bad news day" to announce the arrival of the White House Cat.
Ms. Psaki was asked to give an update on the White House Cat before the conclusion of a press briefing on the 3rd. The reporter stated that "our readers are asking us a lot," to which the press secretary replied "I bet. I’ve been joking, although maybe it might be true, that we’re waiting for a bad news day for that to come out. If you see a tail wagging coming out of the briefing room, you’ll know something bad is about to happen. I don’t have any update on the cat. I know there’s a lot of interest."
April 30, 2021: First Lady Jill Biden says that the soon-to-be White House cat is “waiting in the wings”
Image and tweet credit: Sara Cook, @saraecook on Twitter
The day the First Feline will join the Presidential ranks inches closer but when exactly will that be? Details are still limited at this time but Dr. Biden did confirm that the little kitty is a she. Read more from Insider here.
April 30, 2021: Major Biden receives training to prepare for First Feline’s arrival
After a couple minor biting incidents in the White House, Major, one of two of the Biden’s German Shepards, has received some training to help ensure there will be no issues with the arrival of the White House Cat. The First Lady said Major “did just fine” with the cats at the shelter. Read more from CNN here.
November 28, 2020: Talks of adding a First Feline to the White House stir excitement and questions for the Biden administration
A cat in the White House, could it be?! After a four year stretch with no pets in the White House and another eight with no pet cats, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has hinted that she would like to have a feline friend roaming the Presidential Palace. Read the New York Times full report here.
History of Pets in the White House
Pets, whether they be cats, dogs, horses, pigs or another type of animal companion, have historically almost always had a place in the White House. Dating back to the first administration, George Washington had over 10 pets, including a donkey that was a gift from the King of Spain. Throughout history every president has had at least one pet except for three, Andrew Johnson, James K. Polk and Donald Trump. As for cats in the White House, there have been less than their rival dog. . . but there’s still been a few.
Lincoln often brought strays into the white house and when he was elected president, was given an unexpected gift of two kittens (named Tabby and Dixie) from Secretary of State William Seward. He once fed Tabby from the table during a formal dinner at the White House and when his wife was embarrassed and said it was “shameful in front of their guests,” Lincoln replied, “If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby.” Another notable kitty would be Socks, the Clinton’s cat who made appearances on the presidential podium and the president’s website.
Presidential Pet Museum. “Abraham Lincoln's Cats.” Presidential Pet Museum, 30 June 2016, https://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com/pets/abraham-lincoln-cats/“United States Presidential Pets.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 May 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_pets.