As the Clinton era totters toward the history books, one White House occupant, at least, can rest easy about his legacy. Sandi Langdon is making absolutely sure that no one forgets Socks the Cat.
Langdon, 39, has what may be the biggest collection of Socks memorabilia anywhere in the world, including, in just the dining room of her house in Charlotte, N.C., more than 250 buttons, books, figurines, postcards and a trove of other items, such as Socks-adorned Secret Service tiepins. “She even has items we don’t have,” says Jay Jacob Wind, president of the international Socks the Cat Fan Club, which claims more than 6,000 members.
It’s not that Socks is the only cat in Langdon’s life; it’s just that Socks occupies a special place in her heart.
“When Socks moved to the White House [in 1993], I thought he was a really attractive cat,” says Langdon. The international credit manager for a chemical manufacturer has two felines of her own, named Princess and Lionel, as well as a husband, John, an architect, and a daughter, Caroline, 4. “He’s my dream cat,” Langdon says. “The next cat I get will look like him.”
Now, in her constant search for all things Socks, Langdon scours eBay every day, travels to Washington, D.C., which is, she says, the mother lode of Socksiana, and has even taken tours of the White House seeking—so far unsuccessfully—to catch a glimpse of him. (A spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton says the White House had been unaware of Langdon’s collection.)
Still, Langdon, a lifelong Democrat, does have one caveat about the First Family’s treatment of the First Cat. “Socks didn’t like it when the Clintons got Buddy,” she says. “And neither did I.”