Joe Biden welcomes Willow the cat to the White House

Willow will join Commander, a German shepherd puppy

Laura Hampson
Friday 28 January 2022 15:37
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The White House has welcomed a new feline resident this week with president Joe Biden adding a cat to their pet family.

Willow, a two-year-old green-eyed, grey and white tabby cat from Pennsylvania, has joined the first family just over a year after Biden’s inauguration.

When Biden was elected as US president in November 2020, his wife, first lady Jill Biden, said they would bring a cat to the White House, but Willow’s arrival has been delayed.

Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s spokesperson, said: “Willow is settling into the White House with her favourite toys, treats, and plenty of room to smell and explore.”

The cat has been named Willow after the first lady’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

Mrs Biden shared a social media post about the new addition earlier today, with a tweet that read: “Meet Willow!” It was accompanied by three pictures of the new cat.

Jill first met the cat when it jumped on stage during a 2020 campaign stop in Pennsylvania.

LaRosa added: “Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden.”

The last time a president had a cat in the White House was when George W. Bush’s cat India lived there, between 2001 and 2009.

Former president Barack Obama’s family had Bo, a Portuguese water dog. Donald Trump did not have any presidential pets during the four years he was in the White House.

Willow isn’t Biden’s only pet. The cat will be joining Commander, a German shepherd puppy that was introduced to the White House in December as a birthday gift to the president from his brother James Biden and James’ wife, Sara.

The Bidens’ previously had two other German shepherds, Champ and Major, at the White house before they received Commander.

Champ died in June last year, aged 13, and Major started “behaving aggressively” after he arrived in 2021.

The White House previously said that Major was still adjusting to his new surroundings and he was sent back to Biden’s Delaware home in 2021 for training.

The White House pets even have their own fan account on Instagram, which goes by @first_dogs_usa. “The Oval Pawffice” has over 134,000 followers on the platform and regularly post pictures of the White House pets.

To welcome the arrival of Willow, the account said: “Hello, hoomans [sic]. My name is Willow Biden, I am 2 years old and I just became First Cat. Even though my brother is named Commander and he is bigger than me, I am purrfectly [sic] certain I will be in charge.”

Welcome, Willow!

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