Socks, the Clintons’ First Cat, dies after cancer bout

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R.I.P. Socks.

The former White House cat, who would have turned 20 this spring, was euthanized this morning at a veterinary clinic in Hollywood, Md. Socks had been suffering from cancer and the Currie family, who took custody of him when President Clinton left office, feared that he was too old for extensive treatment such as putting him on a feeding tube, family friend Barry Landau told U.S. News & World Report a few months ago.

Of late, Socks ‘could no longer stand and wasn’t eating,’ Landau told People Magazine.

‘I’m miserable, miserable, miserable,’ Betty Currie, Clinton’s former secretary, said today in an interview with the Southern Maryland News.

In a statement released through the William J. Clinton Foundation, Bill and Hillary Clinton said: ‘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.’


Over the course of his long life, Socks inspired books, television shows, and even a series of stamps for the Central African Republic.

See more photos of Socks through the years after the jump.

Socks in the White House briefing room circa 1994. (Marcy Nighswander / Associated Press)

Then-President Bill Clinton held Socks as he and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted Washington-area elementary school children at the White House. (Ruth Fremson / Associated Press)

Socks shows his displeasure at sharing the White House with former First Dog Buddy. (Rick Wilking / Reuters)

A group of young visitors to the White House greeted Socks after they requested he be brought out so they could meet him. (Ruth Fremson / Associated Press)

A card was printed for the sole purpose of addressing fans who wrote to the former First Cat. The Auxiliary White House Mail Room, located at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home in Washington, handles letters written to the White House; a separate ‘Socks Corner’ was created that dealt exclusively with letters written to Socks. (Associated Press)

Artist Michele Weston Relkin painted ‘Socks in the Oval Office’ as a gift to the then-12-year-old First Daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The painting traveled extensively, from the White House to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to the National Archives. (Artwork: Michele Weston Relkin)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Top photo: Marcy Nighswander / Associated Press