February 20th, 2009
06:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton’s cat 'Socks' dies

Bill Clinton enjoys pet cat Socks in this 1993 file photo.
Bill Clinton enjoys pet cat Socks in this 1993 file photo.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Socks, who reigned as first cat in former President Clinton’s White House, was put to sleep on Friday morning.

After suffering from mouth cancer, Socks was euthanized at Three Notch Veterinary Clinic in Hollywood, Maryland. Betty Currie, Clinton’s former personal secretary, had been taking care of the cat since her boss left the White House.

Socks was born in 1989 and would have turned 20 this spring.

Currie told the Southern Maryland News that Socks hadn’t eaten for two days and that she thought his condition was deteriorating. Socks was under the care of Dr. David Langford at the clinic.

"Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere," the Clintons said in a statement. "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."

Socks had to share the stage as first pet in the White House after the Clintons adopted Buddy, a Labrador retriever.

An 11-year-old Chelsea Clinton adopted Socks in 1991 after she saw the stray kitten at her piano teacher’s home in Little Rock, Arkansas. The cat moved into the governor’s mansion with the family and later to the White House.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Dee

    Really sorry to hear that.

    February 20, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. shannon

    we put our 15 year old cat down two weeks ago, it's very hard to lose a pet

    February 20, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Sad About Socks

    ......long live the memory of Socks!

    although, i bet it was animal-murderer Sarah Palin who's ultimately behind this.

    February 20, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. linda hall

    i am so sorry for the death of socks,the animal lovers enjoyed all the stories of the clintons animals.

    February 20, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Mike

    Rest in peace Mr. Socks. I'm sorry to hear your owners did'nt take you home with them after they left the White House.

    February 20, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Crazy Cat Lady

    Almost 20 years old? That's an amazing age for a cat to live to. Socks had some darn fine care to live so long. Kudos to Betty Currie!

    February 20, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Steven

    Oh my...
    What a sad sad day in American history...

    February 20, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. CatLover

    My heartfelt condolences to Betty Currie and the Clinton family. Thank you for sharing Socks with all of us. Blessings!

    February 20, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    losing a pet is always a sad story..but I bet that will NOT stop a far righter from posting here saying something like.....

    "WHO CARES"
    "BIG DEAL"
    "SO WHAT"

    they just have to post negative stuff here because I think it's therepy for them to deal with their loss. I'm sorry to hear about Socks but just get ready for the insensitive posts that are sure to follow.

    February 20, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Had It

    I cried for two days when my cat died. It's sad. Glad Socks had a long happy life – he will be missed.

    February 20, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Glenn J

    Best Of Luck To The Clintons During This Rough And Tragic Time..I Hope She Can Remain Focused On The Priorities She Has As Secretary Of State And Not Let The Death Of Her Beloved Cat Socks Interfere With Her Emotions

    February 20, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Pete, Fla.

    Darn, I hate when family pets die.
    I love you Hillary! (and Bill)

    February 20, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. james

    why is this newsworthy?

    February 20, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. sandra lewis Smith

    RIP Socks.

    February 20, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Commonwealth VA

    Oh come the heck on SAS, I don't like Governor Palin any more than you apparently do, but that comment was uncalled for.

    February 20, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Al

    @ Sad About Socks...

    Sarah Palin??? Really??? Looks like she has turned into the the new Georgie Bush for the liberals...the one they blame everything and anything on. RIDICULOUS!!!!

    February 20, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Alicia

    My sympathies are with Betty and the Clintons. May Socks rest in peace. 20 years means Socks was well taken care of.

    February 20, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Jan

    I am sorry for the Clintons' loss. I know that Socks was a beloved member of the family. Companion animal loss is hard.

    February 20, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. FireFox

    To "Sad about Sox"
    I feel bad about Socks...too bad you couldn't take his place.

    February 20, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. maggie

    =(

    February 20, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. julie

    Aww. Rest in peace, Socks. I'm sure Betty was good to you.

    February 20, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. SD

    Losing a pet cat IS losing your child. My cat died 4 months ago and not a day goes by where I don't think of her. There is a place somewhere out there where kitties like Socks and my cat Splitter can be in paradise. Rest in peace honey.

    February 20, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. joe

    Bill Clinton needs not to be making news if that is what he loves most!

    February 20, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Mary

    Sox is better off. I just learned on Tuesday that my cat has cancer in the mouth. He is 19 years old. I have been given pain medication for him, but have been told he should be put to sleep. I am trying to keep him with me for another week, but am keeping an eye on him. It will be soon. Probably next week. I am not looking forward to it. He is my buddy!

    February 20, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. knock knock RJ

    RIP Socks.I would rather lose a republican than a pet,anyones pet,even TCM or RJ.

    February 20, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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