When the Bidens moved into the White House, they brought along two pets: German shepherd dogs Champ, who they brought home from a breeder in 2008, and Major, who they adopted from the Delaware Humane Association as a puppy in 2018.
Sadly, Champ died in June 2021 at age 13, and Major was sent to live with family friends after consulting dog trainers, animal behaviorists and veterinarians following a couple of biting incidents at the White House. Then, on Dec. 20, 2021, the president introduced Commander, a 4-month-old German shepherd puppy.
However, something furry (and purry) was still missing. Nearly a year ago, President Joe Biden said that he and his wife would be welcoming a new feline family member “pretty soon.” And while it might have taken longer than anticipated, the presidential kitty has finally made her debut.
First Lady Jill Biden posted photos of the cat on Twitter.
“Meet Willow!” she tweeted, along with three pictures. In the first, the cat is lounging on a sunny windowsill. She is relaxing on a red carpet with a toy close by in the second photo and seems to be exploring the White House in the third.
Meet Willow! pic.twitter.com/Gl3SnsMnvW
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) January 28, 2022
The first lady named the 2-year-old, gray-and-white short-haired tabby Willow after the cat’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Appropriately, the cat came from a farm in Western Pennsylvania where she unabashedly introduced herself during the presidential campaign.
“Willow made quite an impression on Dr. Biden in 2020 when she jumped up on the stage and interrupted her remarks during a campaign stop,” said Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for Jill Biden. “Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden.”
There has not been a feline living in the White House since President George W. Bush’s cat, India, in 2009. In fact, Willow will be one of only a dozen cats to live there throughout its history. However, the green-eyed kitty seems to be getting along just fine.
“Willow is settling into the White House with her favorite toys, treats, and plenty of room to smell and explore,” LaRosa said.