Hail to the kitty! Meet Willow, the newest four-footed member of the Biden White House. The adorable gray-and-white tabby is making herself at home in her spacious new abode in her role as the first presidential kitty since India, a black kitty owned by former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush. And Willow, according to Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for Dr. Jill Biden, is named after the first lady’s hometown Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
People Magazine reports Willow is getting lots of treats and toys and settling into her new routine, according to LaRosa. This isn’t the first time, however, that Willow and Dr. Biden have met. E! News reports. Willow introduced herself to the Bidens as they were making a campaign stop at a farm in Pennsylvania.
Willow’s former owner, farmer Rick Telesz, says Willow was a real crowd-pleaser, according to GoErie.
Dr. Biden Meets A New Fan
Initially, the cute tabby hopped on the back of the stage and walked in front of the first lady. And of course, Willow is so cute that Jill Biden couldn’t help but notice her.
“She [Jill Biden] was speaking and she stopped, acknowledged the cat, but she continued to walk down and jumped and sat in a chair in the front row, right in front of her,” Telesz says. “Even after she got done talking, she made some comments towards the cat.”
Telesz notes Willow, who was born on the farm, has always been friendly and was his uncle’s favorite kitty.
“This cat would wait for him to come to the barn,” he says. “Then it would actually jump through the window in his truck and sit up on his shoulder. She was just a nice cat, really. And that’s kind of unusual for a farm cat. Most of them are a little bit leery.”
Just days after Biden’s speech, Telesz received a phone call from a Democratic Party official.
“The gentleman says, ‘I don’t know how to ask you this Rick.’ And I thought, ‘Oh I’m in trouble now,'” Telesz says. “But he goes, ‘Dr. Jill Biden was wanting to know if you would allow her to adopt that cat.'”
From Barn Cat To First Kitty
You may remember that in November 2020, then president-elect Biden and his wife announced they would be adopting a cat for the White House in January 2021 but obviously that got held up for a bit as they helped their dogs Major and Champ settle in at the White House. The former occupant of the Whtie House dislikes dogs and cats, so this marked the first time in four years that a pet had called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home.
The Bidens have always loved pets and adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018. Sadly Champ passed away in July 2021 at age 13. Major wound up being rehomed after biting a few people.
That set the stage for two new four-legged family members: Willow and Commander, an adorable 5-month-old German Shepherd puppy, who is as cute as you might guess.
And Willow Makes Two
I can’t help but think Willow is having a blast exploring her new home. There’s all kinds of rooms to investigate and things to sniff. And with those expressive green eyes, she is just so durned-cute.
“Cat’s out of the bag! AKA ME. I’ve arrived ladies and gentlemen 🐱🐕- Willow Biden #meowdeling “
Of course, this also makes me think of Socks, the adorable tuxedo kitty made famous by former President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. He became quite an adorable personality in his own right and was famous for hopping on his human dad’s shoulder, as we see below.
He cut quite the presidential picture as the cat-in-chief from 1993 to 2001.
It’s lovely to see pets in the White House again. It may have taught us a lesson that electing presidents who don’t like pets may be a bad idea.
You can watch Willow Biden make her adorable debut in the video from TODAY below.
Featured image: Willow Biden, The White House/Reuters