(Breaking news) Socks, former First Cat, dies

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

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Posted at 1:35 p.m. Friday

Socks, former First Cat of President Bill Clinton's administration, was euthanized on Friday morning, Feb. 20, according to the famous cat's longtime caretaker, Betty Currie of Hollywood.

Socks had been suffering from cancer of the jaw.

"I'm miserable, miserable, miserable," Currie said in a Friday afternoon telephone call.

Currie said she suspected that the cat's condition was deteriorating throughout the week. "He wouldn't eat for two days," she said. "This morning, when I got up, he didn't get up [too] like he normally would."

And then, when Socks finally made his way to the litter box, he fell in the litter and just lay there. Currie was alarmed and called Three Notch Veterinary Clinic, which has been caring for Socks for the past seven years. The veterinarian concurred that the time was probably right to put Socks down.

Currie said she planned to have Socks cremated.

Currie was Clinton's personal secretary during his administration and has been the caretaker of Socks since Clinton left office in 2001.

A veterinarian recently estimated that Socks, who was a stray cat before he was adopted by the Clintons, would have turned 20 this spring. Socks was adopted by the Clintons for their daughter, Chelsea, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas and moved with them to the White House.