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An Official Answer
from Senator Clinton's Office
Date: Tuesday, 23 Jan 2001
Dear Mr. Wind:
Thank you for your recent e-mail in regard to Socks. The Clinton
family appreciates your concern. To make this time of transition
as easy as possible for Socks, the family decided that it would be best,
while the Washington residence is being readied for occupancy, if he stayed
with someone that he knew and with whom he has spent a great deal of time
in the last eight years. Betty Currie who knows Socks well and shares
the family's concern for Socks' well-being offered to take Socks to her
home. I understand that he is quite content and settling in very
Alice J. Pushkar
Director of Correspondence
for Senator Clinton
Supporting Cast Departs from
The Washington Post,
January 28, 2001
Betty Currie, the
secretary has solved one last problem for her president.
Quiet, dignified, churchgoing Betty Currie had the
unfortunate job of coordinating Bill Clinton's trysts with Monica Lewinsky.
When the heat was on, she even collected the gifts Lewinsky gave Clinton
and stashed them under her bed at home. She was loyal when Clinton needed
Everyone at the White House liked her. Especially
the black-and-white kitty whose loving owner, Chelsea, went away to college
far from home. "Socks spent all of his time perching in that outer office"
near Currie's desk, one administration insider said. "She had all kinds
of goodies for him. She's been like his godmother."
The cat was famous in the early years -- even had
a book on the bestseller list. But his stock fell when the president adopted
a chocolate Labrador retriever named Buddy. In the rough days when Clinton
was deep in the doghouse, Buddy was his unquestioning companion. The White
House was big enough for the two of them, Socks and Buddy.
Now that's changed: the house in Chappaqua, the
house in Washington, the apartment at the Clinton library in Little Rock
-- none was deemed a suitable home for the cat. So Betty Currie stepped
in -- from godmother to adoptive mother.
She'll be one of the last to leave the Clinton presidency.
Currie plans to assist Clinton six more months, working on his transition
to the rest of his life.
"She's a caring, wonderful human being whom people
around here love," a colleague said. "It's in part because she takes care
of people." And cats.
Washington Post, January 24, 2001 "We appreciate the offer, but Socks expects his
Social Security taxes to be paid. That was a little catty of me, wasn't
-- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's press secretary,
Wolfson, responding yesterday to former Bush labor secretary nominee
Chavez's offer of food, shelter and employment to the displaced Clinton
No Cat Got Her Tongue! from
Post, January 22, 2001 Remember Linda Chavez? She was President
Bush's choice to head the Labor Department before her nomination went
splat with the news that she gave housing, work and money to an illegal
immigrant from Guatemala. Yesterday Chavez phoned us to offer room and
board -- and, yes, employment -- to yet another refugee.
"I'm happy to offer a home to Socks," she
told us from her nine-acre farm in Loudoun County that she shares with
husband Chris Gersten. "There are plenty of mice here, so I would
expect him to catch a few mice to earn a place here. I've got three aged
and decrepit dogs, two lame horses and a middle-aged parrot, so I guess
an old cat would just about round out my menagerie."
Chavez -- who writes a newspaper column, runs the
Center for Equal Opportunity and gives speeches (her lecture fees have
jumped since her nomination misadventure) -- said she's making the offer
because she's worried about Socks. On leaving the White House last Saturday,
Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) ditched the
9-year-old family feline, depositing him with Clinton White House secretary
Currie because he can't get along with pet Labrador Buddy. But
it's unclear if the arrangement is temporary or permanent, and Chavez stands
ready to fill the vacuum.
"When I heard the Clintons weren't taking him with
them, either to Chappaqua or their new house on Embassy Row, it just broke
my heart," she said. "I assume he's neutered. I wouldn't want any unneutered
Clintons in my house."
Official: Socks to Go to Betty from
Washington Post, January 20, 2001 It's official: After much back-and-forth, the Clintons
have finally decided to give 9-year-old Socks to Bill Clinton's secretary,
Currie, when they start their new lives outside the White House today.
But not to worry. "Betty has been one of his biggest and most adoring fans,"
family spokeswoman Lissa Muscatine told us yesterday.
THE CAT FAN CLUB Preserves Clinton White House for Kids Web Pages In anticipation of the transtion described in the
article below, SOCKS THE CAT FAN CLUB downloaded the entire White House
for Kids web pages, as a historical archive, one day before the Bush Administration
pulled the cyber-plug. SOCKS THE CAT FAN CLUB made no changes in
the content and preserved all of the links.
Take a look -- click on http://www.oocities.com/socksfanclub/home.html Transition
on the Web -- The CyberHouse Rules from
Washington Post, January 19, 2001 Al Gore may not have invented the Internet, but
it was on the Clinton-Gore administration's watch that the Internet took
off. The first White House Web site was unveiled in October 1994.
Thus at noon Saturday, January 20, the first cybertransition
took place. With the click of a mouse, more than 20,200 White
House documents will move -- without a packing box or handtruck in sight
-- to make way for material from a new pressident, George W. Bush.
And for the first time, the National Archives will
go digital. It will load up the Clinton White House speeches, releases,
briefings and photos and put them up on its Web site:www.clinton.nara.gov. "You won't have to depend on someone to look up
the information and send back a letter to you five or 10 days later. You
can go directly to the Web site and find an answer," said Sharon Fawcett,
deputy assistant archivist for presidential libraries for the National
Archives and Records Administration.
Those hoping for similar access to the reams of
documents put online over the last eight years by the Pentagon, the State
Department and other government agencies will have to wait a litle longer,
archives officials say. Every department and agency that hosts a
Web site was directed by the archives to provide a "snapshot" of its site
by Inauguration Day on CD-ROM and provide it within 60 days, they said.
The snapshot would capture everything on the site at that moment in time.
The idea, Fawcett said, is eventually to make those sites available online.
In the interim, officials expect to make the CD-ROMs available to the public
for a fee.
However, some federal Webmasters say they didn't
have enough time for the project, and that NARA did not provide money to
complete the task. In response to those concerns, the archives is allowing
agencies to do a simple backup of files from their sites from which a snapshot
can be made later. Brewster Kahle, president of the Internet Archive,
which is working with the Library of Congress to store Web sites related
to the presidential election of 2000, lauded the archives' effort, but
said it does not go far enough. "You're getting the big institutions
-- the Library of Congress, the Smithsoniann, the archives -- changing their
actions to go digital," he said.
"What they're doing now is a good first step, but
they need to go much, much further toward preserving and making much more
accessible our digital heritage -- by recording not just one Web site,
all Web sites, all digital music, television, radio. And comprehensive
collections, not just samples."
If all goes as planned, the formal cybertransition
will take place at 12:01 p.m. Saturday. That is when the Bush White House
will occupy the Web site that currently offers pictures of Socks and Buddy
and the Clinton family and the texts of 404 presidential radio addresses.
The initial Bush White House Web site will be "very slimmed down," Bush
spokesman Tucker Eskew said. There will be a biography of the president-elect
and an introduction to his administration. The long-range goal, Eskew
said, is to provide much more information in an "interactive" way -- "a
Web site . . . that can be customized and used by a variety of audiences."
Since the White House Web site debuted in 1994,
it has drawn between 1 million and 2 million hits a day. Its browsing ease
allows one to search 20,208 documents, for instance, and quickly pull up
the poem Maya Angelou read at Clinton's first inaugural and the ethics
rule he announced that day -- since rescinded -- that banned political
appointees from lobbying their agency for five years after they leave office.
TheClinton Foundation, which is building
a $125 million presidential library in Little Rock, will launch its own
Web site with historical material to be linked to the archives site.
President Clinton Himself Doesn't Know! from Presidential Press Conference,
THE WHITE HOUSE, January 12, 2001, The South Grounds, 11:10 A.M. EST
Q Are you really giving Socks away?
Oh, I don't know. I did
better with the Arabs -- the Palestinians and the Israelis than I've done
with Socks and Buddy. (Laughter.) And I won't have as much
space or as much help in managing them, so I'm trying to figure out whether
I can do it. Because I've had that cat a long time. You know,
we took him in as a stray back in Arkansas, and I hate to give him up,
although Betty and a lot of other people here in the White House really
love him. It's just another one of those places where I haven't yet
made peace. But I've got eight days. (Laughter.) Thank
Will Socks Go After January 20? USA Today reported on January 9 that SOCKS will
not be moving to either of the Clintons' new houses on Whitehaven Parkway
in DC or in Chappaqua NY, but rather to the quiet suburban home of Betty
Currie, Bill's longtime secretary, and then to the Curries' retirement
farm in the Virginia countryside, where Socks would have the freedom to
On Wednesday, January 10, however,
White House press spokesman Jake Siewart neither confirmed nor denied the
story. On Thursday, January 11, Reuters asked
President Clinton the same question. On Friday, January
12 (Jay Jacob Wind's birthday), President Clinton himself could not
confirm or deny. See above.
Since then SOCKS THE CAT FAN CLUB president Jay
Jacob Wind has been interviewed by Fox Morning News, Inside Edition,
Show, New York Post, Philadelphia Enquirer,
DC, WRCK Syracuse NY, WRKO Boston MA, radio stations in Iowa, Minnesota,
North Carolina, and Oklahoma; Bob Vella's Pet Talk America (www.pettalk.com)
of "300 Incredible Things for Pet Lovers on the Internet" (www.300incredible.com),
and Leah Fleming and Alex Chadwick's show on National Public Radio at 10
am on Wednesday, January 17
Wait, there's more!
George W. Bush's six-toed tabby, ERNIE, will
NOT move to the White House on January 20. Instead, Ernie will go
to Brad Freeman's family in Los Angeles, California.
Bush's black female cat, INDIA, however,
WILL join the Bushes in the Presidential Mansion, as will Bush's dog SPOT,
one of Millie's pups; and Laura Bush's new pup, BARNEY, a
For lots more information, visit SOCKS THE CAT FAN
CLUB's website at http://www.oocities.com/socksthecat.geo If you want a free copy of the final SOCKS THE CAT
FAN CLUB newsletter #24, please send your name and address and two 34¢
SOCKS THE CAT FAN CLUB, 611 SOUTH IVY STREET, ARLINGTON VA 22204-2429
have purroudly served this nation," Socks said in his farewell letter.
Buddy will follow the Clintons out of the White House, the
First Cat appears headed to a new owner"I
During his owner's first
term in the White House, Socks was the cat's meow. Purred over by the Clintons
and their guests, the First Pet tracked squirrels on the South Lawn and
catnapped outside the Oval Office. Then came 1997, and the
President chose a new running mate: Buddy the chocolate Labrador retriever.
The winner of the ensuing catfight now seems clear. USA Today reports that
when the Clintons leave the White House on Jan. 20, Buddy, 3, will divide
his time between his owners' new homes in Chappaqua, N.Y., and Washington,
D.C., while 10-year-old Socks will pussyfoot his way to the northern Virginia
house of Betty Currie, 61, the President's longtime secretary. Though Hillary
Clinton called Currie "one of our cat's greatest fans" in the 1998
book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy, the White House officially says the
final, final decision has yet to be made by Chelsea
It was Chelsea, then 11,
who adopted the stray after seeing him at her piano teacher's Little Rock
home in 1991. In the White House Currie often gave Socks treats. "He has
always enjoyed her company," says Socks Fan Club president Jay
Still, some may speculate
that Socks was the victim of a vast right-paw conspiracy engineered by
Buddy. No matter where he finally curls up, Socks will doubtless keep busy.
In a farewell letter posted on his fan club's Web site, he says, "I expect
to work on my meowmoirs."
of President Clinton by Reuters News Service from Presidential Press Conferece,
Aboard Air Force One, en route to Andrews Air Force Base, Thursday, January
11, 11:37 P.M. EST
Q What about Socks?
What's going to happen to Socks?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't
know. You know, I made more progress in the Middle East than I did
between Socks and Buddy. (Laughter.) And
I don't know that I've got enough space and enough help when I'm gone
to keep them both away from one another and keep them both happy.
But I still haven't quite resolved what to
do. I love that old cat. You know, we picked him up as sort of a half stray
in Arkansas, and I hate to give him up. But Betty loves him; half
the White House loves the cat and the other half loves the dog.
Q You can't break
them up into that many pieces.
THE PRESIDENT: No, no.
I'm sure going to take -- I know I'll take Buddy, because I slept with
him for 16 months all during the Senate campaign. He was with me
all the time. (Laughter.) I can't live without him.
But I really -- I've even talked to some of
the guys, a couple of the guys at the White House are quite good at training
pets, and we've all kind of tried to work at this. None of us have
been able to figure out how to actually get them in peaceful coexistence.
I feel of all the skills I learned as President
in bringing these people together, I didn't do very well with that.
He or Won't He? from an Official Briefing,
Wednesday, January 10, by White House press secretary Jake Siewart
Q On this big decision
that he has on whether to take Socks and Buddy --
MR. SIEWERT: There are no developments
on the Socks-Buddy peace process today.
Q What is the story
here? Why can't he take them both?
MR. SIEWERT: Well, I think the
President -- I'm not going to say much beyond what I said yesterday.
The President has tried, worked pretty hard on this, and there's nothing
new on that today. But I'll let you know if we --
Q They get along
here, don't they?
MR. SIEWERT: We've got a lot
of space here, and maybe that makes it easier.
Q Could we just ask
you for on-camera purposes, what are the parameters of this peace process?
MR. SIEWERT: It's a family matter,
probably best not discussed on camera. But the President said he's
worked to try to get them to get along, and we'll let you know if we succeed
in that effort.
Q But is there a
discussion of a separation, perhaps a Socks stays in New York and --
MR. SIEWERT: There are a lot
of different options, a lot of different options. We haven't made
a final decision.
Q Does he have a
preference of a pet?
MR. SIEWERT: No, I'm not going
to get into that here. I don't think so.
Q They fight like
dogs and cats.
MR. SIEWERT: I was instructed
that the pet peace process was moribund today.
Q Yes, but there's
little doubt that Buddy is his favorite these days. (Laughter.)
I mean, he's not even-handed on this, is he?
MR. SIEWERT: We're not playing
favorites here. I mean, the dog is a regular here in the West Wing.
You've probably seen him. I understand he wanders back here from
time to time in search of God knows what.
Q Why doesn't Chelsea
take her own cat? If Dennis Ross isn't doing anything -- (laughter.)
Chelsea can't have a cat at Stanford?
MR. SIEWERT: I don't know, actually
don't know what the rules of the dorm are there. But, look, they'll
work this out one way or another. We'll let you know.
Q -- hopeful?
MR. SIEWERT: We are very hopeful.
Q -- to the last
day of the administration? (Laughter.)
MR. SIEWERT: To the last day
of the administration, we're going to keep working on it and see what we
Truth About Cats & Dogs, from
Post, The Reliable Source, January 10, 2001
The White House spin machine was at pains to clarify
yesterday's USA Today report that 9-year-old Socks, who has
been locked in a blood feud with chocolate Labrador Buddy, will
be fobbed off on President Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie,
when the family moves out on January 20. "It is not a done deal," White
House spokeswoman Cheri Stockham told us. "There are still a couple
of outstanding issues, so at this point there is no truth to the story."
White House press secretary
Jake Siewert told reporters that the
president is still determined to bring Socks and Buddy together: "He's
going to work on this until his last day in office." But we're giving better
odds on Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat. In other presidential
pet developments, incoming White House resident George W. Bush won't
be bringing his cat, Ernie, because the still-clawed feline might
scratch up the furniture, but three other family faves will move in: India,
a declawed black cat; Spot, an English springer spaniel (a descendant
of former first dog Millie); and Barney, a Scottish terrier puppy.
Does Hillary, in private, hiss at Bill? Will Senator
Clinton write a tell-all book, or merely a tell-most? Such cosmic questions
must, alas, await publication. What is on record, though, is that Socks,
lame-duck cat, most definitely hisses at Buddy, lame-duck dog. Bipartisanship
is nonexistent; the president's time-tested negotiating skills have failed
What to do? While Mr. Clinton can, come Saturday,
hand over any unresolved Mideast and Capitol Hill tensions to President
Bush, the new White House tenants probably don't want Democratic pets skittering
about their ankles. So while Buddy heads for Chappaqua, Socks' fate, at
last report, is unclear. Loyalty may wind up, as it so often does
for politicians, to be only fur-deep, and the cat may have a new home
possibly with Betty Currie, President Clinton's secretary.
That would leave just one matter unresolved: whether
Socks, in retaliation, will switch parties.
I'm Socks the Cat! as told to Gloria Campisi,
Daily News, January
Socks the Cat, at the podium of the White House briefing
tells the Daily News he's not happy with Bill's slobbering dog,
and wants to know where he's going to live
Now, I ask you. Do I deserve this?
After a decade of faithful service to Bubba and
the Bride, the last several of them skirting the hot breath of that drooling
fool Buddy, I am threatened with eviction from the Clinton clan when it
leaves the White House.
First, USA Today reports I won't be going with Bill,
Hill, and Chelsea (my real owner), when George W. is sworn in.
Instead, the paper said, I'll be farmed out to the
home of Bill's secretary, Betty Currie, in the suburbs of Virginia.
Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against
She lets me play on her desk and nose around in
her butterscotch bowl. She scratches and pets me as the most important
people in the world come and go from the Oval Office.
But to the suburbs in Virginia? After prowling
the corridors of power for eight years? I have my own White House Web site
and Fan Club. I'm Socks the Cat!
Then, they hold a press conference, where they chuckle
and say they haven't made up their minds yet where I'm going to live.
I'm a cat in limbo.
I could go to Hillary's new Senate office or the
family's Georgetown house. Chelsea is away at college in California.
Buddy will probably get the run of Hill and Bill's
house in Chappaqua, N.Y.
I guess it's another of those truisms, like "the
wife is always the last to know."
Yep, "the cat is always the first to go."
That's what some experts are telling my co-author,
"It's usually the cat that people turn in," when
a new puppy enters the household, Tara O'Brien, adoption center director
for the Pennsylvania SPCA, told Campisi."Incompatibility with other pets"
is among the top 10 reasons cats get turned in at shelters, according to
the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, Holly McGurgan,
of the Women's Humane Society in Bucks County, told Campisi.
When they bring cats into the shelter, "People usually
say the cat and dog don't get along," this Tara lady says. She says owners
often "take it more seriously than they should."
"A lot of times the cat hides, where they used to
walk all over the house and lay on the sofa and have been very cuddly and
"You don't see them, all of a sudden. A lot of times,
they're under the bed or in the closet, trying to hide . . . Sometimes
they don't want to try and go downstairs to use the litter pan."
But give it time, this Tara lady says, and usually
the cat and dog will work it out.
It's obvious she doesn't know Buddy. Typical high-maintenance
chocolate Lab. Everything has to go his way.
I used to loll on the White House lawn on a 20-foot
leash, presenting the perfect photo op.
It's true, I've rarely been seen since Buddy arrived
at the White House as a gift pup in late 1997.
I admit I've thrown a few hissy fits in his company.
I did jump on to Bill's shoulder when first introduced to the Buddster.
But you'd get miffed too if Buddy was always rushing
to the first helicopter to welcome Bill home. Just making brownie points,
Not to mention Buddy always reminding everyone he's
a pure-breed and my ancestry is, um, a bit cloudy.
Chelsea's music teacher found me under her porch
as a kitten in Little Rock. Chelsea and her dad adopted me in 1991, according
to my fan club. (I don't remember that far back.)
So, enough already. You can't just toss me aside.
I'm Socks the Cat! Bill, I've been loyal. Never cooperated with the press.
But cats have a great sense of hearing. Night vision? Nobody's better.
After eight years in your White House, I could make trouble.
-- Staff writer Gar Joseph contributed to this report.
on Cover of DNC Calendar
Although cats are generally independent, this year's
Democratic National Committee calender features Socks on the front cover.
For a copy, click on https://www.democrats.org/support.
requests a donation of at least $25.
of First Pets Socks and Buddy by Jay Jacob Wind, President, SOCKS
THE CAT FAN CLUB / BUDDY'S BUDDIES
Socks was born around January 29, 1991, in Little
Rock, Arkansas, an American shorthair of unknown breeding. He was
about two months old when Chelsea met him and adopted him on March 29,
1991. He lived under the porch at Chelsea's music teacher's house,
abandoned with his twin Midnight. Chelsea's first words upon seeing
Socks were "Ooh, I love him. Can I keep him?"
Buddy was professionally bred by Linda Renfro
Easton, Maryland Buddy was born in September 1997 in Easton, Maryland.
He was trained by Greg Strong of Easton and was four months old
when the Clintons adopted him. The two First Pets have never gotten
along, as illustrated on our web site in the three famous photos taken
January 6, 1998, of Bill separating Socks and Buddy in their spat on the
SOCKS THE CAT FAN
CLUB'S BOOKSTORE Socks The Cat Fan Club
Perennial Best Sellers
Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Includes photos of Socks and Buddy actually getting
along! See review on page 1. Buy
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The Cat in the Hat Game by University Games
2 to 4 players, ages 4 and older; Includes game board, 4 playing pieces,
40 picture cards, and spinner; Skills: color recognition, counting, matching,
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Socks and Cretin: Two Democats Helping Bill With the Presidency by
Lyle W. Shannon. Cats frequently see more clearly local, regional and
national issues than do politicians. This is a classic case with Bill Clinton's
feline friend Socks, writing to University of Iowa professor emeritus Lyle
W. Shannon's cunning campanion, Cretin, an older cat who reads newspapers,
listened to learned discussion and carried on a ponderous correspondence.
The senior Shannon has carefully compiled the thoughts of the two cats.
It's spirited, insightful, and fun reading. Buy
the Book Today!
The Defense Is Ready : Life in the Trenches of Criminal Law
by Leslie Abramson and Richard Flaste. From The New
York Times Book Review, by Judith Newman: Leslie Abramson never
met a felon she didn't like. . . . As one client put it, "Leslie was so
good. For a while there she even had me believing I didn't do it." Buy
the Book Today!
Children's Letters to Socks : Kids Write to America's
'First Cat' by Bill Adler (Editor) Bill
Adler, the premier anthologist of what children write and say has reached
into the White House mail bag. Now, readers can share the humorous, unpredictable,
often poignant letters sent by kids from all fifty states to the First
Cat, Socks. Illustrations drawn by real children. Buy
the Book Today!
First Cat, Second Term : Socks Pussyfoots His Way
Back into the White House by Elizabeth Nickles, Tamara Asseyev (Contributor),
Ilys Segal (Illustrator), Liz Nickles, Ilyse Segal (Illustrator) Fictional
account of Socks from the perspective of the second four years. Buy
the Book Today!
Socks the Cat Who Moved to Washington by J.
Grubbs and Joan Abell A fun account of SOCKS'
journey to the White House.
the Book Today!
You can use the form below to search the entire collection of Amazon.com
for books or records which fit your interests:
SOCKS THE CAT FAN CLUB has created a web page to
list EVERY cat-related web site in the world.
Fur sure, we need your help to build the list. If
you have a cat-related web site, please add it. There are five CAT-egories:
National Organizations; Local Organizations; Department of Health and Feline
Services; Department of Education; and Cat-izens' Pages.
Please visit LAND'O'LINKS at cat-links.html