What Ever Happened to Socks?


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By Nicky Westbrook

Finding my old plush version of Socks made me wonder what had become of the real First Cat.

I was given this stuffed rendition of the Clinton’s cat, Socks for Christmas during the Clinton years. I found him recently in a box of stuff in the attic and wondered if he might be worth anything. He still has his 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue tag on his collar and he’s in decent shape. So I looked on eBay and found a couple. One had a “Buy it Now” price of $9.00. And it has the original box (which I do not). Another had a price of $86.95 or Best Offer. This second one was manufactured in 1993. Mine says 1992. Both are made by the same manufacturer (Street Kids), but mine doesn’t have the correct markings. My socks is missing the markings on his chin. Could that make him worth more? Less? Do I care? Not really. Not selling him.

This brief research did make me wonder what ever happened to the real Socks? In case you haven’t heard, Socks has passed on. He died February 19th, 2009 after a three-month battle with throat cancer. Socks was 20 years old. According to Wikipedia, the Clinton’s adopted Socks after he, “jumped into the arms of Chelsea Clinton while she was leaving her piano lesson” in 1991. He moved from the governor’s mansion to the White House when Clinton was elected. There were reports of conflict over the years between Socks and Buddy the Lab (adopted in 1997). Clinton was quoted as saying, “I did better with the Palestinians and the Israelis than I’ve done with Socks and Buddy.”

Apparently many people were upset when Clinton left office, assuming the family abandoned Socks and only took Buddy with them. According to a People Magazine article, he wasn’t abandoned. He was given to President Clinton’s secretary, Betty Currie. Currie, at the time, had suffered the loss of a family member as well as a dog and since she and Socks had become pretty tight over the years (Socks spent many days curled up in a chair in Currie’s office), she asked if she could keep him.  The Clintons knew it was in the best interest of Socks to let him stay with her.   In the years spent with Currie and her husband, “Socks had and incredible life”, according to family friend and presidential historian Barry Landau. “Betty cooked for Socks.” He reportedly loved chicken most of all. On Thursday February 19th, 2009, Betty Currie took 20 year old, very ill Socks for one last walk. Here is a very nice video tribute to Socks, a very wonderful, “First Cat.”

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8 thoughts on “What Ever Happened to Socks?”

  1. Clinton abandoned Socks. Would you randomly give away your beloved cat? Would you give away your children? Because you got a new one and don’t care anymore about the “old” one, and their fighting is annoying you so you decide to get rid of the one you don’t care for?
    I’m sure you wouldn’t, and neither would I.

    “We gave him away” is just a “feel-good” hypocrite way of them to word it, much like how a lot of the Clinton administration was, by the way… It’s all about looking good for the public while doing more harm than good.

    Luckily, Socks happened to end up with someone who truly loved and cared about him, and so he had a happy life next to his new owner, but that doesn’t change the betrayal and abandonment of his previous owner.

  2. I thank Ms. Currie who took Socks. although I dont like the comment by Mira at least he found a happy loving home. I am just surprised that Chelsea let him go. and not everyone feels the same as we do about our pets. you should see some of the surrender excuses at the NYC ACC…suddenly after 12 years owners gives up because of allergies? oh yeah. it is sad…..I am glad he had a good life and was loved and not mistreated in his life and found peace and love his last years with a great lady who really loved him. peace

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