The Bidens' German shepherds, Champ and Major, will soon have a feline friend at the White House.
Things might get a bit catty in the White House soon as reports suggest that a feline might be joining President-elect Joe Biden and future first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, as they move into the presidential residence. This exciting announcement comes not long after America celebrated the fact that Bidens will restore the time-honored tradition of presidential pets at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this January with their two German shepherds, Champ and Major, gracing the executive residence with the pitter-pattering of their paws once again. On Friday, Jane Pauley of "CBS Sunday Morning" gave us a cherry-on-top moment when she reported that a cat is also set to join the canines.
And now some breaking news on #SundayMorning...— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) November 28, 2020
President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House. The Bidens tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat. #sundaypets pic.twitter.com/KCkNV6jNpH
"President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Biden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House. The Bidens tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat," the show tweeted. According to The New York Times, the soon-to-be first lady previously hinted at the same during an interview with Fox 5 in Washington, DC in September, where she revealed that she would not mind getting a cat if her husband won the presidency.
"I'd love to get a cat," she said at the time. "I love having animals around the house." While the cat's breed and name haven't been revealed yet, it will be the first feline to roam the hallways of the White House in over a decade. The last cat to live in the White House was George W Bush's black cat, India who also had the nickname Willie. While India was often overshadowed by the Bush family's two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, her predecessor Socks — who belonged to the Clintons — was quite the hit with the American public. The black and white feline often gained attention from the news media and was even the protagonist of an unreleased Super Nintendo game named "Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill."
The tradition of White House pets is so ingrained that President Trump drew some suspicion about his lack of a pet. His antipathy towards dogs was confirmed by his ex-wife Ivana in her memoir Raising Trump where she wrote: "Donald was not a dog fan. How can you not love a dog that acts like he's won the lottery for life just because he sees you walk through the door?"
Trump himself addressed the matter at a February 2019 rally in Texas where he claimed that he doesn't "have any time" and felt it would be "phony" for him to get one for political reasons, reports The New York Times. "You do love your dogs, don't you?" he asked at the time. "I wouldn't mind having one, honestly, but I don't have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?" Meanwhile, the Biden's Major — who is set to make history as the first shelter dog to call the White House home — reflects a broader trend of Americans adopting pets from shelters and their stance on animal rights, said Andrew Hager, the historian-in-residence at the Presidential Pet Museum. "In a way, I've made the argument that you can look at the history of Americans and animals by looking at the president and their pets."
Jennifer B Pickens, the author of Pets at the White House, explained that pets humanize the presidency and help the public relate to their owners on a more personal level. Moreover, dogs make for cuddly presidential props and provide companionship when presidents make tough decisions. "Americans have always had pets, so the White House has always had pets," she said.