Socks - I cannot attribute this image. Fair use is argued.
Question: what year did president Clinton and his family adopt their cat socks? Answer: 1991. Well that is that then...Not quite. I'll add some more dates and information about the life of Socks. Socks lived from an estimated March 1989 to February 20, 2009. His birth date is uncertain as he is an adopted stray as I understand it.
The only child and daughter of the Clintons is Chelsea. When Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas, Chelsea (who was aged 11 at the time) was taking piano lessons under the tutelage of her piano teacher at Little Rock, Arkansas. Her piano teacher was the caretaker of at least two cats, one of which was Socks. I am not sure that he was called Socks at that time - probably not.
We are told that Socks jumped into Chelsea's arms as she was leaving her piano lesson. That sounds like a slight exaggeration but could be true. Perhaps the better description is Chelsea and Socks got on very well which led to his adoption. This tells me that Chelsea is my kind of person. She is a cat person! Or at least a person who is sympathetic to animals.
He was called Socks for the obvious reason that he has white fur on each paw. This is due to the white spotting or piebald gene. The overall pattern of Sock's fur is called "tuxedo" to mirror mens' formal clothes, or he could be described as a black and white cat.
When the Clintons moved into the White House on Bill's election as president, Socks was the number one companion animal - he was the only companion animal until his nose was put out of joint by the arrival of a dog, Buddy, a Labrador Retriever. Socks never adjusted to the presence of Buddy, which led to his release to Bill Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie in 2001 at the end of Clinton's term as president.
Socks developed illnesses in his old age (cancer) and was humanely euthanised at the age of about 20 on February 20, 2009. This was a long and what seems to have been a good life, a famous life; except for that damn dog...
Socks is described by the Wikipedia authors as a "an American Shorthair". I am almost certain that Socks was not purebred and the expression American Shorthair indicates a purebred cat. The better description would be "Domestic Short Hair" (DSL) or an American shorthaired cat. But my thanks to the authors for the info.