Willow Biden is the latest in a long line of White House pets.
President Joe Biden and first wife Jill Biden have welcomed a green-eyed tabby from Pennsylvania into the White House household, marking the first feline visitor since President George W. Bush's infamously named cat India.
Willow, who is two years old, has recently joined Commander, a German shepherd puppy who is trailed by two other German shepherds, Champ and Major. Champ, a 13-year-old rescue, died in June after behaving aggressively, while Major, a 3-year-old rescue, was relocated to a quieter life.
Animals have a lengthy history at the White House, with exceptions such as Presidents James K. Polk and Donald Trump.
Past presidential dogs' highlights include:
PONIES AND PRESIDENTS
There have been a few ponies and a lot of horses in the White House, including the very first pets with President John Adams and first lady Abigail Adams. Cleopatra and Caesar were their horses, and Juno and Satan were their dogs.
Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's daughter, and her friends were famed for riding her pony Macaroni, as well as another named Tex, on the South Lawn, but Macaroni was typically stabled at the Kennedy family home in Virginia.
The White House used to have its own stables, which were utilized by numerous presidents, the last of whom being Theodore Roosevelt. Horses were a passion for the Rough Rider and ex-ranch owner. According to Andrew Hager, a presidential pet historian from the unauthorized online Presidential Pet Museum, Quentin and Kermit reportedly smuggled their pony Algonquin into the second level of the White House in an elevator to visit a sick sister.
In 1864, a fire destroyed the White House stables, killing several of Abraham Lincoln's horses and ponies as well as his children. According to one tale, a distressed Lincoln tried in vain to save his son Tad's cherished pony.
THE PEOPLE OF THE CAT
While dogs have been more frequent visitors, the Clintons, Carters, and Fords, to mention a few, have all been cat owners at the White House.
However, it was the Bushes' cat India that provoked nationalist rallies in Kerala, India's southernmost state, in 2004. They thought the moniker was derogatory.
According to Hager, both Lincoln and his first lady, Mary Todd, had cats.
There's a tale that he used to feed one of his cats from the White House dining room plates, but when his wife objected, he answered, 'Well, if these plates were good enough for James Buchanan, they're good enough for the cat, he stated
Caroline Kennedy had a cat named Tom Kitten (aka Tom Terrific) for a short time, but he caused her allergy-prone father to sneeze, so he was moved to live with a colleague. When Tom Kitten arrived in 1961, the press was asked to photograph him. He was only in the White House for a few weeks.
According to Hager, William McKinley had two Angora kittens named Valeriano Weyler and Enrique DeLome, as well as roosters and a parrot named Washington Post.
THE PEOPLE OF DOGS
There have been a plethora of canines. In April 2009, Bo, a male Portuguese water dog, joined the Obama family at the White House. Sunny, a female of the same breed, arrived in August of that year.
A pair of "gentle giant" Irish wolfhounds were among President John Tyler's pets. He presented them to Julia, his second wife, as a present. Theodore Roosevelt had a herd of dogs, snakes, guinea pigs, and a one-legged rooster, according to one account.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave Kennedy the mixed-breed Pushinka.
Franklin Roosevelt had a number of pets, but his favorite was Fala, a dog named after a family ancestor. Murray the Outlaw of Falahill is Fala's full name.) Until Roosevelt's death in 1945, he was frequently spotted by the 32nd president's side. The Scottish terrier, given to the Roosevelts by a cousin, outlived him by seven years and was buried nearby.
Checkers was perhaps the most famous of the dogs, but he made his debut before Richard Nixon became president. Nixon swore to preserve the cocker spaniel presented to his family by a Texas supporter as Dwight Eisenhower's vice presidential running mate in 1952, despite suspicions that he misappropriated campaign funds.
PETS THAT ARE OUT OF THE BOX
Andrew Johnson is said to have had no formal pets, although he did leave a basket of flour and some water for the White House mice every night and refused to have them exterminated.
So I like to think of them as pets, Hager added, but that's kind of an open subject.
Other presidents had strange pets.
Mooly Wooly and Pauline were William H. Taft's prize cows. They grazed on the White House grounds and gave milk and butter to the White House.
During a train stop in Kansas, a child gave Theodore Roosevelt a badger.
He was pretty enthusiastic,Hager recalled, but it bit him, so he wasn't happy about that.
In Maryland, supporters sent Benjamin Harrison two opossums, which he named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection in honor of two of his party's political platforms.
Was there a special guest at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 1927? The adored pet raccoon of First Lady Grace Coolidge.
According to Hager, Woodrow Wilson owned a naughty Shropshire ram named Old Ike. The purebred ram was "forceful and strategic," according to a newspaper article from 1920, charging White House workers and cops. Wilson, the 28th president, eventually exiled Old Ike to Maryland from the White House.
Tobacco chewing was a habit of old Ike's. To be precise, cigars. He'd gorge himself on abandoned cigar stubs. Old Ike's caretaker gave him one last chew in his old age, according to his obituary in the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald in 1927 "he dropped off peacefully munching it".
Wilson used the ram to lead a flock of sheep to keep the grounds groomed in order to tighten his belt and allow the White House gardeners to help with the First World War effort. Wilson auctioned off the flock's fleece in 1919, despite the fact that many other presidents kept farm animals. The auction raised a total of $58,823 for the Red Cross, which was a significant sum at the time.
Thank goodness we don't have to spend that much money on a sweater, Hager added.