Former First Cat Socks was euthanized on Friday. He was 19 or 20 years old and had been diagnosed with cancer. Socks was a stray who was adopted by Chelsea Clinton when her father was governor of Arkansas. When Clinton was elected president, Socks moved to the White House and was so popular the White House had to issue a statement asking reporters to leave him alone. Socks had his own fan club and was featured in many books including one written by Hillary Rodham Clinton called Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets. Not to be outdone by his family, Socks was involved in his own scandal when Indiana's Republican Representative, Dan Burton questioned the use of White House staff and postage to answer the many letters Socks received.
When the Clinton's left the White House, Socks went to live with Clinton's' secretary Betty Currie. She and Socks had become very attached over the years and she asked if she could keep him. In the last few years Socks made few public appearances choosing to enjoy the company of his family, his special home-made chicken dinners, and the occasional visit from his former family.
The Clinton's issued this statement: "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."