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Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 10:26 GMT
Socks to get the boot
The fate of America's 'First Cat', Socks, is up in the air now that President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary are leaving the White House.
The options under consideration include giving the feline to long-time Clinton assistant Betty Currie, or having Socks stay at Mrs Clinton's Senate office, or at their new Georgetown house.
The Clintons have already decided that the president's dog, Buddy, will join them at their house in Chappaqua, New York.
Socks came to the White House from Arkansas with the Clintons in 1993 and he is considered to be the pet of their daughter, Stanford University student Chelsea.
First pets divided
The problem is that the nine-year-old cat does not get on with Buddy.
But according to Mr Siewert, the president is calling upon all his skills as a seasoned negotiator to try to resolve the situation.
"He has worked hard in the last couple of years to do his best to reconcile Socks and Buddy, and although time is running out, he is going to give it his best efforts in his remaining time in office", Mr Siewert said.
No special envoys have been called in to try to settle the dispute. "They want to work it out within the family", he said.
Socks was featured alongside his rival, Buddy, in Mrs Clinton's book, Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets, and has his own fan club and website.
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