Leave Your Condolences For Socks, White House Cat Dies at Age 20
"Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere. We're grateful for those memories, and we especially want to thank our good friend, Betty Currie, for taking such loving care of Socks for so many years," the Clintons said in a statement, released first to People.com.
When the Clintons left the White House, Socks went to live with Currie, the president's personal secretary, and her husband, Bob. It was near their home in Maryland that Socks was put to sleep on Friday morning "He could no longer stand and wasn't eating," according to family friend and presidential historian, Barry Landau.
Though much was made of the fact that Buddy, the Clintons' beloved brown Labrador retriever - who died after being hit by a car in 2002 -remained with the Clintons while Socks did not, Landau says, "The truth be known Betty asked if Socks could come live with her. The Clintons didn't abandon Socks. They were totally conflicted. It broke their hearts but they knew it would be the right thing for Socks' welfare."
"Betty had lost a close family member and a dog (at the time) and they wanted to do something nice for Betty," says Landau, noting that Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, had just been elected to the Senate at the time.
"Socks became attached to Betty after spending most of his waking hours at her side," said Landau. "Socks was always curled up on a blue striped silk chair, next to Betty," in her office outside the Oval Office.
"Socks didn't act like a cat. Socks was very dog-like, and Buddy and Socks got along well," he said.
In the years since he left the White House, Landau says, "Socks had an incredible life. Betty cooked for Socks," he said, noting, "Socks loved chicken." On Thursday, Currie took Socks for one last walk.
Leave your condolences for those who loved Socks in the comments below.