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Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 10:26 GMT
Socks to get the boot
Socks the Clintons' cat
Socks's days in the corridors of power are numbered
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.


Clinton 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

Spokesman Jake Siewert
White House spokesman Jake Siewert told reporters travelling with President Clinton on Tuesday that the couple had not yet decided where the black and white cat would go.

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.

President Clinton with Buddy
The President's affection seems to have switched to Buddy
Once a familiar sight on the White House South Lawn, Socks has been keeping a low profile since the arrival of Buddy in late 1997, and there have been signs of friction between the two pets.

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.

Intense negotiations

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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See also:

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