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. CAMI

    So sorry to hear about Socks. It's always heartbreaking when a beloved pet dies, but I'm glad that Ms. Currie was able to give him such a good, loving home.

    February 20, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Wow.. 20yrs. So do they have a pet yet in the White House? I guess they have to fill up the vacant cabinet posts first. I hope to see the Obama show some of that boldness.Opt for a billy goat.

    February 20, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Stephen

    That's one old cat. I've had three family cats die in two years. President Clinton I feel your pain.

    February 20, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Brook E. Mantia

    It's always hard to lose a four-legged family member. Grateful Socks went from being a stray to enjoying a long life with loving people taking care of him. My "baby" will be 17 this year, and I cherish every moment. And I'd like to encourage everyone to adopt shelter pets, and be sure to have your "babies" spayed and neutered. Too many homeless pets need a loving family...could be yours?

    February 20, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Commonwealth VA

    SAS, I wanted to add that the comment about Governor Palin is no different to me than some of my Republican friends blaming everything bad in the world and in their lives on President Clinton.

    So Al, it works both ways....but I suppose some of my Republican friends blaming President Clinton for everything bad is OK then? My, my, my how soon some people forget.

    February 20, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Melody Chapin

    I am sorry for the Clinton's and Ms. Currie's loss of Socks. I bet the family have wonderful memories of Socks. It is so difficult to say goodbye to our furry friends.

    February 20, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    :( I will miss you. You are unique.

    February 20, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Pat CA

    Another of CNN's finest! Socks the Cat. That's about it. CNN - the "joke" of the media. (BTW, I love cats.)

    February 20, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Thanks CNN for this crack news story coverage. Liberals around the world mourn the loss of a great cat, a family friend and true patriot!

    February 20, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Brian NH

    Three words....Clinton News Network..... You have sympathy for this but not personal attacks on Sarah Palin and her family!

    February 20, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Dan J

    Why did they give up the cat?

    February 20, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. Kristi

    RIP dear Socks! You had a wonderful, long life. I'm sorry to hear about your illness.

    February 20, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Liz Brown

    I am very angry at the remarks being directed at our new president. He has taken on a monumental task, trying to undo the last eight years of abysmal governing by George Bush. Give President Obama a chance to try and make things right in this beautiful country we call 'The United states of America'. I am so tired of all the negativity surrounding his decisions to date. What everyone (and by everyone, I mostly mean Republicans) need to remember is that President Barack Obama is the PEOPLES CHOICE. WE voted him in to the highest office in the land and we all need to give this wonderful man a chance to do his job. I do not envy him his task to try and turn this country around. He is needs our undying support as Americans who are suffering with lost jobs, lost homes and lost savings.Our prayers should be with him as he makes critical decisions that affect us all.

    February 20, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Brian NH

    One more thing how can all you far left people feel bad about this and even joke sarah palin killed it but your President Obama sends your tax dollars overseas to kill a baby which is a HUMAN BEING NOT A CAT!!! Obama also voted twice if the abortion fails and the baby is born you just leave it to die give me a break! ****Palin 2012****

    February 20, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Cheney

    So?And no,I did not give Barney rabies.

    February 20, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. RIP TJ

    I am sorry to hear about Socks. I had to make the decision to put my kitty TJ down this summer & it is never an easy thing to do. I believe Socks will be hanging out over the Rainbow bridge with my sweet TJ and all the other kitties who have gone before him.

    February 20, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    Poor Socks the most honorable Clinton.

    February 20, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Brooke

    To James,

    The reason that Socks' death is news is simple, most people care. Most people have hearts and souls and feel sad when others suffer. Many of us were alive when the Clintons moved to Washington with Socks and we care. My condolences to Betty and the Clinton family.

    February 20, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. craig

    Ok, I feel bad for the Clintons, but come on!!!!!!! This crap is not a headline story. Anything to get ratings.

    February 20, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. Bill

    20 years! Incredible. That cat certainly had a full life. Sad though

    February 20, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Mike - Houston

    They put Socks to sleep so he wouldn't have to suffer though the Obama administration!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Cant say he didn't live a full life! 20 years is a pretty long time for a cat to live. Pretty amazing if you think about it.

    February 20, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Bill

    I wrote to Socks during the Clinton presidency. He sent a postcard with his picture and wrote "I'm proud to be your First Cat." This is a sad day.

    February 20, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. jimmy

    puddy tatt :) RIP Sockie !

    February 20, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  25. Jim in Fllorida

    Condolences to the Clintons on the loss of Socks.

    Chaneg the subject – Gibbs is an idiot. He wants you to believe that Cable News was out to get Obama during the campaign.

    Why, Gibby old boy, you'r ejust another press head. You didn't watch the same CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, et al that I watched during the campaign if you believe those stations were tilted against Obama.

    Ahhhh, maybe you just consider cable news Fox News – since they far and away kick the other around with viewership.

    It's started already, the Obamanistas get their feeling hurt by a CNBC rant (surprising you'd hear it there) so now all cable news is out to get Obama.

    Why, White House, just censor the news – establish MSNBC as the government owned station (won't take much effort to accomplish that with MSNBC) – then you can control the message, quell dissent – control everyone. Now that would be change although we might not be able to believe in it.

    Gibbs is arrogant, elitist and very very thin skinned.

    February 20, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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