During his owner's first term in the White House, Socks was the cat's meow. Purred over by the Clintons and their guests, the First Pet tracked squirrels on the South Lawn and catnapped outside the Oval Office. Then came 1997, and the President chose a new running mate: Buddy the chocolate Labrador retriever. The winner of the ensuing catfight now seems clear. USA Today reports that when the Clintons leave the White House on Jan. 20, Buddy, 3, will divide his time between his owners' new homes in Chappaqua, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., while 10-year-old Socks will pussyfoot his way to the northern Virginia house of Betty Currie, 61, the President's longtime secretary. Though Hillary Clinton called Currie "one of our cat's greatest fans" in the 1998 book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy, the White House officially says the final, final decision has yet to be made by Chelsea Clinton.
It was Chelsea, then 11, who adopted the stray after seeing him at her piano teacher's Little Rock home in 1991. In the White House Currie often gave Socks treats. "He has always enjoyed her company," says Socks Fan Club president Jay Wind.
Still, some may speculate that Socks was the victim of a vast right-paw conspiracy engineered by Buddy. No matter where he finally curls up, Socks will doubtless keep busy. In a farewell letter posted on his fan club's Web site, he says, "I expect to work on my meowmoirs."
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