Willow’s First Christmas at the White House

Photo credit: Erin Scott, Official White House Photographer

(This is a conversation overheard between Commander, the White House German Shepherd and Willow, the White House family cat.)  Once-in-while we capture conversations between White House pets just to put-you-in-the-know about what really goes on in that House and to see a spiritual meaning deep in the layers of government and leadership.)  “W” is Willow; “C” is Commander.

W: (prancing into the room to the fireplace where Commander is napping) Commander!  Hey ol boy.  Wake up.  I want to tell you about my tour of the White House with the FLOTUS and all the decorations.  It’s all filmed for several news outlets!

C:  Aww.  C’mon Willow, haven’t you seen decorations before?

W:  Not like this buddy.  FLOTUS took me on a private tour, and it is being published in several big-name online magazines.  I must say it is quite charming.  In the videos and pictures, I’m with FLOTUS who is sweetly showing me one of the trees, I think in the Vermeil Room, and I’m quite taken.  She said she wanted to introduce me to the overflowing of lights and balls and icicles (who does this anymore?), and all the colorful mantle flowers, poinsettias, and little figures of the Bethlehem scene so I wouldn’t be attracted to play with all of them.  Nice try.  I’ll wait till she’s asleep and then go into my hunting mode.

C:  Why do that?  There’s nothing here to hunt girl.  Nothing is alive.  It’s all chimera; this is an important word for you to learn.  It means ‘faux.’  Fake.  You can’t eat any of this.  You may try but not a good idea.

W:  You are such a scrooge, Commander.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I don’t need to eat it, contrary to what Rocky Mountain Vet shows us on TV.  I just love the glitter, and the sparkle.  We divas need that for our happiness.  (She licks her paws and looks at him disdainfully) I think I need a pawdicure; my nails are getting too long.

C:  Ok.  So, you got a tour and now you’re famous in some magazines.  But did you thank FLOTUS? 

W:  Why?

C:  She gave you the tour and she gently reminded you that all decorations are off limits and she showed that she loves you unconditionally.

W:  Well, who wouldn’t?

C:  I think you are a little stuck on yourself Willow.

W:  Hey, I hear conversations you can’t hear because I can stealthily admit myself into high level meetings even from atop bookcases and behind chairs and you have to wait at the door.  Whenever I jump up quietly on the bookcases in our Pop’s meeting room, no one knows I’m there.  If they see me, they think I’m a stuffed possum so quiet and still.  But I’m listening.  You know the saying, “Still waters run deep!”  I simply lick my paws and check to be sure everyone sees me as innocent.  I listen.  And yawn.  And curl up.  I mean, who’s afraid of a cat?  All the while I’m canvassing the room to see who’s glaring at POTUS or who’s shuffling his feet and checking his watch as POTUS speaks.  Oh, the secrets I could tell.  I should have been subpoenaed for the January 6 committee!  I am so important, Commander.  At night I curl up with FLOTUS and tell her in my eyes and actions to be supportive and caring for POTUS and I know she understands.

C:  So glad you have some sense, Willow.

W:  Oh, tons mister!  Do you understand cats at all?

C:  Don’t care to.  

W:  Well, you better get used to it if we’re to be partners in helping POTUS and FLOTUS.  I will take care of the First Lady and you take care of the President.

C:  Obviously, I have the harder job.  But I am strong, smart, and loyal.  I’m what he needs every day.  As President Truman once said, “If you need a friend in Washington, get a dog!”  We make wonderful friends and as Plato said, “The dog has the soul of a philosopher.”  I get it.  Everything.  Everything POTUS needs, says, does.

W:  But I’m photogenic and playful.  Tons more fun than you, serious Commander.  And that’s what FLOTUS likes.  I must say, the pictures of me in the magazine are simply smashing and attractive.  No doubt about it, I’m a femme fatale!

C:  Shh!  I hear footsteps.  We best curl up and pretend to be napping.  Better yet, Champ and I often prayed for POTUS so why don’t you and I, Willow?

W:  People think we cats do not pray; they think we even control God.  But I know the value of praying since I got to this House.

C:  Yep.  Pop does it every night.  He asks for direction in decisions.  So, let’s pray for a new year of good health and unselfish direction for him and all of Congress, Willow.

W:  Yes, Congress needs prayers, lots of them.  In fact, I think Congress needs miracles!  And we need to pray for the FLOTUS as well.  They’re a team like the two of us and teams need prayer.  Our country needs prayer.  Our families need prayer.  


Dear God, help us to be more kind, more gentle, more loving in our relationships. Help us to be strong, moral, and honest in our work.  Guide us in our efforts to use the creativity and intelligence you gave us to serve others.  Help our nation to companion other nations at war or in distress.  Most of all, may we be at peace with all we experience this coming year.  May we see everything as grace.

(Willow drops her head and dreams of Fancy Feast treats and warm sunshine.  Commander snores softly thinking of God’s blessings and dreaming of beef jerky.  All is right with the world, for now.)

Let us all resolve to pray for our leaders and those in need of better lives without oppression.

To check out Willow’s magazine videos, go to People.com or Parade.com or Huffpost.com.  Or simply google Willow’s First Christmas at White House.  You won’t regret the time spent on this.

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