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White House welcomes new cat named Willow

Image source, Courtesy White House

Image caption,

Willow, the White House’s newest resident

The family of US President Joe Biden has welcomed the newest resident of the White House: a two-year-old cat named Willow.

A spokesman for First Lady Jill Biden said that the new addition was named after the cat’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

The cat is the first to live in the White House since the George W. Bush administration.

Willow will join Commander, Joe Biden’s German Shepherd.

Photos of the cat, a short-haired tabby with green eyes, were shared on Twitter by Jill Biden on Friday morning.

“Willow is settling into the White House with her favourite toys, treats and plenty of room to smell and explore,” Mrs Biden’s spokesman, Michael LaRosa, told the Associated Press.

Mrs Biden met her new housemate after Willow joined her onstage – uninvited – at an event in Pennsylvania during her husband’s 2020 electoral campaign.

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

There has not been a cat in the White House since the 2009 death of India, an all-black American Shorthair that lived with the family of George W Bush for nearly two decades.

In addition to Willow and Commander, the Bidens previously had two other German shepherds – named Champ and Major – at the White House.

The three-year-old Major, however, was sent to live with Biden family friends in Delaware after two biting incidents.

The eldest presidential pet, Champ, died in June at the age of 13.

While dogs have been more frequent residents of the White House, several presidents have also kept cats at home, including Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

In the past, other White House pets have included hamsters, raccoons, and birds.

Only three US presidents – James Polk, Andrew Johnson and Donald Trump – did not keep any pets while in office.

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