Stand by for a major power shift in the White House: the dog-loving Bidens are getting a cat. "Yes, that is true. He's waiting in the wings. She, she is waiting in the wings," First Lady Jill Biden told NBC's Today show in an interview broadcast Friday.
The long-rumored arrival of a First Feline, which Press Secretary Jen Psaki once warned would "break the internet," means a new challenge for the Bidens' rambunctious German Shepherd Major. He has already experienced teething problems in settling into America's most famous address.
The young former rescue dog, a faithful companion to the far older German Shepherd Champ, was sent away for training in April after several biting incidents.
President Joe Biden said the pooch's unpresidential behavior was down to the way he gets surprised by Secret Service agents and others appearing around every corner in the busy White House complex.
Now the over-eager Major will have to use his new coping skills with a cat too. "That was part of his training. They took him into a shelter with cats and he did fine," Jill Biden said.
The White House has a diverse history of First Animals, including parrots, cows, goats, alligators, even silkworm, apart from the usual canine and feline species. Some of them have caused their fair share of controversy as well.
An emotional speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt involving his Scottish Terrier Fala is believed to have been key for his reelection. Lyndon B. Johnson icited the ire of animal lovers when he lifted his Beagles, names Him and Her, by their ears. Although Andrew Johnson was the rare president who did not have a pet at the White House, he is believed to have fed the mice in his bedroom.
While most of the animal inhabitants of the White House have coexisted in harmony, there have been instances of strife and conflict too. Socks, the Clintons' cat, did not take to Buddy, the First Couple's chocolate labrador retriever.
It remains to be seen how Champ and Major are going to get along with the latest entrant into the White House pantheon of pets, whose name we don't know yet.