Socks Clinton, 17, enjoying the time he has left

December 18, 2008

Socks Clinton is one of the best presidental pets ever, in my not-so-humble opinion. The Clintons, for whatever else their strengths and weaknesses — and there are many of both – never seemed to be animal-lovers, and to be honest I was glad when Socks went to live with someone who loves and cares for him — former White House secretary Betty Currie.

There was an evident bond between Ms. Currie and the photogenic tuxedo cat, and the fact that he has made it to almost 18 speaks volumes of the level of care he has received.

Unfortunately, time may be running out for Socks. From our friend Dan Childs of ABC News:

As media attention is centered on the rise of a new presidential administration, some may overlook one Clinton-era figure who may be facing the cancer battle of his life.

Socks, who held the post of White House cat during owner Bill Clinton’s eight-year presidency, has received a cancer diagnosis. And as he approaches his 18th birthday, the disease may be further cause to predict that his days are numbered.

Dan touched base with us a couple days ago. He talked to our Dr. Becker, and Dr. B and I both pointed him to Dr. Greg Ogilvie, a brilliant and compassionate veterinary oncologist.

Ogilvie said cancer is the most curable chronic disease in cats. As long as cancer is detected early and treated promptly, cats can often bounce back.

But he said that, in Socks’ case, the Curries are wise to consider the old animal’s quality of life.

“No matter what treatment is chosen, quality of life is first and foremost,” he said.

And he added that, even as Socks faces a tough cancer diagnosis, he is inspired by the way many cats deal with the disease on a daily basis.

“One thing that I see each and every day is how much we learn from our kitties with cancer,” he said. “Kitties don’t allow myths and misperceptions about cancer to cloud their living every day. They’re a good role model.”

As for Socks, [family friend and Presidential historian Barry] Landau said the former feline in chief is spending his final days living in the moment.

And that’s a good lesson for us all.

Filed under: pets, connected — Gina Spadafori @ 9:43 am

6 Comments »

  1. That’s great! We all know that Presidents tend to be long-lived but it would be interesting to see how Presidential pets have fared over the years.

    Comment by slt — December 18, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  2. Betty Curie used to live about a mile from me, and I am good friends with someone who used to be her neighbor, which is how I learned that Sox had moved into Arlington. Nice to know he’s had a long life. None of us will make it out of this world alive, and the best we can hope for is to meet someone nice like Betty Currie. Without a doubt, he made it into the presidential pet hall of fame!

    Patrick

    Comment by PBurns — December 18, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  3. Its always good to hear when a cat finds someone who will love and care for them, especially in their old age.

    Lets hope that he has a while yet and that his days will be full of happiness.

    Comment by Kate — December 18, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Does Socks have extra toes?

    I think the Clintons are animals lovers. It was Buddy who was the problem re: Socks. They thought Socks would be happier not living with him. If you look at some of the outdoor pics of Socks, they had him on a leash. Something about him being safer on the grounds of the WH. There’s a real cute pic (imo) of Socks riding On President Clinton’s shoulder.
    Found the website with Sock’s story and pics:

    http://www.purr-n-fur.org.uk/famous/socks.html

    Sen Clinton has also kept safe pet food and vet drugs in the conversation. Her proposal regarding import safety specifically mentioned both and every time I heard her talk about safe imports on the campaign trail and debates, pet food was mentioned. I have to wonder if that’s why Gore mentioned it when he endorsed Obama.

    Sad to hear Socks has cancer. I lost 2 18yo kitties to cancer a couple years ago. They were diagnosed 2 weeks apart. The saving grace (for me) about them being older was it made treatment decisions easier. Comfortable and happy. Here’s hoping Socks has both for a while longer.

    Comment by straybaby — December 18, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  5. I am glad that Socks went to live with Betty Currie as the Clintons were too busy to give Socks deserved attention & love once they left the White House. Buddy’s sad end attests to this. I hope they find a bit of time to visit their beloved pet. Chelsea grew up with Socks. He was her pal for her years in the White House & I think he will remember the little girl who gave him a home.

    Comment by lynne — December 20, 2008 @ 6:49 am

  6. I’m sorry to hear of the First Cat’s illness, but it touches my heart to know that he has been receiving loving care for so many years.

    Comment by Marie — December 29, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

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