“Cats,” wrote The Conversation gravely in 2013, “remain under-represented in Washington.”

It’s a problem that the Bidens are set to remedy. Last week, first lady Jill Biden teased that a cat is “waiting in the wings” to join the family and their two dogs at the White House. The newcomer won’t be the first four-legged friend to knock pens off the Resolute Desk, though; here are seven notable White House cats who blazed the trail for First Kitty Biden.

Tabby and Dixie, the O.G.s

When President Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was asked if her husband had any hobbies, the first lady replied simply: “Cats.” She wasn’t kidding: Reportedly Abe loved his cats so much that he’d even feed them from the dinner table, to Mary Todd’s dismay. Lincoln was also the first president to introduce cats into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the form of Tabby and Dixie, who were a gift from his secretary of state, William H. Seward. “At one point, [Lincoln] told a friend that Dixie was ‘smarter than his entire cabinet’ and ‘didn’t talk back,’ which was a bonus,'” Andrew Hager, the historian-in-residence at the Presidential Pet Museum, told The New York Times.

Siam, the immigrant

Don’t be surprised if the Bidens adopt a Siamese cat, as a nod to a White House tradition that began with Siam in 1878. Born in Thailand, Siam made a two-month journey to Washington, D.C., by way of Hong Kong and San Francisco, to become the first-known Siamese cat in the United States. She was sent as a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes from David B. Sickels, an American diplomat at the U.S. Consulate in Bangkok, and reportedly enjoyed meeting all the visitors at the White House: Siam “always . . . [entered] the room when Mrs. Hayes …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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