Bidens welcomes a cat named Willow to the White House - petsitterbank

Bidens welcomes a cat named Willow to the White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in more than a dozen years, a cat lives in the White House.

Her name is willowand it’s a 2-year-old green-eyed, gray and white farm cat from Pennsylvania who first caught the eye of first lady Jill Biden on the campaign trail.

“Willow is settling into the White House with her favorite toys, treats and plenty of room to smell and explore,” said Michael LaRosa, spokesman for the first lady.

Jill Biden said after her husband, Joe Biden, was elected in November 2020 that they would bring a kitten to the White House, but months passed without being seen or told. when she would arrive. Then last month the White House said the cat would come in January.

Willow is named after the First Lady’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

The short-haired tabby made quite an impression on Jill Biden after jumping on stage and interrupting her remarks during a 2020 campaign stop in Pennsylvania, LaRosa said.

“Seeing their immediate connection, the farm owner knew Willow belonged to Dr. Biden,” he said. The owner gave the cat to the first lady, who was kept away from the White House until it was time to move her with her litter box.

The White House has been without a feline resident since India, President George W. Bush’s cat, who died in the mansion in January 2009, just before the end of his term. Before that, President Bill Clinton also had his cat, Socks, in the White House.

Stacy Cordery, who teaches history and leadership at Dickinson State University, said getting a pet is always a happy time for any family, and owning a dog and a cat could help strengthen the public appeal of the Bidens at a time of political turmoil for the president.

Cordery, who has written books about President Theodore Roosevelt and his family, noted the contrast between Biden and his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, who did not have a White House pet during his presidency.

“I think part of their goal is to make the White House more accessible,” Cordery said of the Bidens.

They have owned cats in the past, but not since their cat Daisy died.

Willow joins Commander, a German Shepherd puppy that Joe Biden presented in December as a birthday present from President James Biden’s brother and his wife, Sara.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki teased that Willow might show up for one of her daily briefings one day.

“She has a standing invitation. That would be perfect,” Psaki tweeted, adding #COTUS — which stands for “Cat of the United States.”

The Bidens had two other German Shepherds, Champ and Major, in the White House before Commander.

But Major, a 3-year-old rescue dog, started behaving aggressively after arriving in January 2021, including a pair of bites. The White House had said Major was still adjusting to his new home and was sent back to the Bidens’ home in Delaware for training.

The Bidens, after consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists and veterinarians, decided to follow the experts’ collective recommendation and send Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends, LaRosa said the month last.

Champ died in June at the age of 13.

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