February 20th, 2009
06:11 PM ET
6 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. Christine

    Jan February 20th, 2009 6:37 pm ET

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

    Um Jan, Socks was given to another family years ago...They felt that loss then when they gave Socks to away.

    February 20, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Texrat

    It's sad for most of us, I'm sure, when we lose a beloved pet.

    And for those who complain the item isn't newsworthy– then why did you take the time to read and respond? If it isn't newsworthy, save yourself some time and avoid it altogether.

    February 20, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. PEG BITTNER

    It is always hard to put a pet down especially when they have been part of the family for as long as SOX was. Pets are the coolest creatures around. They don't see us by what we are but by who we are. That is the most important part of us that we must never forget.
    We were all born with a name, we earn titles, we can loose titles but we can never loose our names. Live like our pets see us.

    Sorry SOX was so sick. It is bad enough when humans have to go through it but pets it is even worse because they can't tell you what they truly want.

    Go get a new cat. Call it Shoes.

    February 20, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. borwin

    So sorry about Socks. He had a good long life.

    February 20, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. CHANGE we need

    come on CNN...THIS is news??? Better watch it....you may upset Mr. Gibbs and the other Obama cronies.

    February 20, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. Hurt

    Obama where is my welfare check man?

    February 20, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. S Callahan

    Hey CNN can we please get a blog regarding the fear of nationalizing 'big banks'.....you put a great article on Page 1 of CNN live....but no where to vent......

    February 20, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. Jeffer65

    While it is always sad when anyone has to put a beloved pet to sleep, why is this on the ticker? Stories about Obama's choice for 1st dog or Bush's dog never belonged either.

    February 20, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. Move on

    My cat jumped off the roof to his death because he got "fixed."

    February 20, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. blacklovr

    black cats live longer since they're genes are better than YT's.

    February 20, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. blacklovr

    cats aren't pets.

    February 20, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. John in VA

    Poor kitty. I imagine the Clintons are heartbroken.

    Mike – Houston: you're sick! This is exactly why the right is crumbling.

    February 20, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. Suspicious

    WHY didn't Clintons take Socks with them? WHY did they let Buddy get hit by a car? I don't think they really loved their pets...

    February 20, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. Tina

    My sympathies to Betty Currie for the loss of Socks. She saw him through his senior years, cooked chicken for him and ultimately extended the ultimate act of kindness by not allowing him to suffer his illness anymore and put him to sleep. Betty obviously loved Socks very much and I feel deeply the sadness she must be experiencing tonight. Betty, you did all the right things in caring for Socks all these years, and now Socks is safe in heaven. You did a wonderful job and you are a special lady.

    February 20, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. america first

    if only people could be as loyal as our pets, sorry to hear about the loss of Socks, 20 years old, as Charlotte,on Charlottes Web would say ( that was sooome cat).

    February 20, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. Simmy

    Sorry for your lost. When we lost our black lab "PJ," it hurt a lot. We have never had a pet since him.

    P.S............People who say evil things, whether about people or animals, are generally people who don't like themselves. Self-introspection is way cool.

    February 20, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Bongo

    was Socks a Black Cat or White Cat ?

    February 20, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  18. john

    aawwww RIP socks I was just talking about Socks today. Sad to hear this about the first cat :-(

    February 20, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Tom

    There is nothing sadder than a dead cat.

    February 20, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  20. GuyInVA

    No matter your politics, losing a pet hurts. I believe George Carlin (maybe?) said buying a pet was "a long term investment in a personal tragedy."

    February 20, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. JJ in NY

    Now what? More crocodile tears from hillary ?

    February 20, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. blacklovr

    obama LOVES the jenkem.

    February 20, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  23. Gloria

    I a sorry Socks had to put to sleep, but cancer is as bad on animals as it is on people. May Socks be beyond the Rainbow Bridge
    and continue to work for Justice for all Homeless Animals. RIP Socks and know we will remember you.

    February 20, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  24. Sharon

    Socks, you're well, healthy and having fun on the other side...and your in a wonderful place where no god accepts Repubs!! Lucky you!!!

    February 20, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  25. ttofast70@comcast.net

    Sorry for your lost. The best Clinton of them all.

    February 20, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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