What To Know About Willow, The Cutest And Furriest Member Of The Biden Family

The White House has seen tons of adorable presidential dogs over the years. When President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden took office with their three German shepherds Champ, Major, and Commander, we were greeted with some adorable snaps of them casually strolling about the historic building. Sadly, Champ passed away in 2021, and Commander was more aggressive than we were led to believe, so his time at the White House ended. 

However, the Bidens couldn't keep their love for animals at bay for too long, so they adopted Willow, a two-year-old gray tabby, in 2022. Speaking to The New York Times, Michael LaRosa, then the First Lady's press secretary, shared, "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. Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden." 

The adorable incident took place in Volant, Pennsylvania, and Willow originally belonged to the farm's owner, Rick Telesz. Speaking to the Erie Times, Telesz recalled how their cat confidently strutted around the stage as the First Lady continued her address. When the adorable feline got off the stage, she grabbed the best seat in the house in the front row and stared at Jill. Shortly after Biden's victory, his team reached out to Telesz with the idea of adopting her. Although Willow has only been in the White House since 2022, she has blessed us with several adorable moments.

Willow Biden loves Christmasses at The White House

Willow is the first feline to walk through the White House halls since former President George Bush's cat, India, and she knows she has a big reputation to live up to. When The Dodo visited the White House for Christmas 2022, we saw some adorable footage of Willow walking through the rooms and checking out the Christmas decorations with her mom, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Like every other Biden, Willow received some gifts to celebrate the holiday. 

Although her box had an assortment of toys, she eventually lost interest in them and played with the box like a true feline. Their 2022 Christmas decorations had a 3D display of their beloved kitty, featuring her sassily sitting atop some books. When the presidential cat saw the display, she leaned into her curiosity to get a good look at what was on top. The Dodo's 2023 visit had a similar story, except this time, Willow thought she'd be their best bet at navigating the White House halls, so she led the way like a tour guide. 

Unfortunately, Willow could only ignore the feline temptation to destroy something for so long and eventually started clawing at the decor. We saw Jill being a true cat mom as she chided Willow for getting fake snow all over her fur and cleaned it up. Jill also encouraged the host to pet Willow because she was an affectionate cat, which proved true as she rubbed against the host to thank her for the pets.

Willow has total freedom in the White House

For Christmas 2023, President Joe Biden took to Instagram to share a snap of Willow staring at an ornament on their Christmas tree to ensure it was up to standard. When she first strutted into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it was obvious that she was First Lady Jill Biden's choice of pet. When the Bidens sat down with Today's Craig Melvin, he asked if it was the President's idea to get a cat. Joe answered that it wasn't, but it was easier to go along with it. 

Even Willow's name was an ode to the First Lady's hometown of Willow Grove. Despite everything, it didn't take long for the felin to paw her way into the dog-loving Joe's heart. During a Lunar New Year reception, the President added a nod to her. "Willow may walk in here any time now. She has no limits," he continued. "You think I'm kidding, I'm not. Especially in the middle of the night when she climbs up and lays on top of my head," he said, via USA Today's Joey Garrison. Michael LaRosa had a similar story to tell CNN. 

He said that although she had the freedom to visit several rooms in the White House, she primarily wandered about the Executive Residence staff because they pampered her with love. To ensure Willow doesn't run away, the East Wing has a sign warning people to keep the door closed. When Willow isn't basking in the glory of the White House's attention, she's basking in the sun during summer vacations with her family.