Meet Willow, the Bidens’ “First Cat” That Has Just Moved Into the White House

The White House has a new furry resident roaming its hallowed halls. On Friday, January 28, the Biden administration announced that the first family had adopted a gray shorthair tabby cat named Willow.

First lady Jill Biden was the driving force behind Willow's adoption. The cat had a memorable introduction to her nearly two years ago; Dr. Biden was giving a speech at a Pennsylvania farm where Willow was living. But like most animals, Willow didn't care that a future first lady was there and simply hopped on stage during her talk.

“Willow made quite an impression on Dr. Biden in 2020 when she jumped up on the stage and interrupted her remarks during a campaign stop,” said Michael La Rosa, the first lady's spokesperson. “Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden.”

The cat is named after Dr. Biden’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. She’s joining Commander, a German shepherd puppy who arrived at the White House in December 2021. The two come after the June 2021 death of the Bidens’ oldest dog, Champ. Their other dog, Major, had to be rehomed after having trouble adapting to life as a president’s pup; the White House environment was not the best place for him.

Based on the photos released of Willow, it appears she’s adjusting to the fast-paced life of POTUS just fine. “Willow is settling into the White House with her favorite toys, treats, and plenty of room to smell and explore,” La Rosa shared.

It’s been a long time since a cat has been in the White House. The last kitty to take up furry residence was President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush’s black cat, India. Before that, it was the Clintons’ cat Socks who was a “media darling” and even photographed in the White House briefing room.

Will Willow have the same level of fame? Only time will tell, but considering the internet’s general love of cats, the odds are good that we’ll be seeing more of her in the coming years.

h/t: [NPR]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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