Kuiper stands next to a cow statue. He looks like he is chewing his cud.

Pauline, the First Cow

“I have been much amused, and I confess, rather bored by the omnipresent photographers. Civilization has developed so many irritating conditions.” Pauline Wayne (cow), interview with Washington Post, 1910

Kuiper does his best cow impression in Madison, WI. We spent a couple of days there this summer because that’s where Kuiper’s paternal grandparents live.

You may be familiar with #marlonbundo, the BOTUS, but did you know that at one time there was a First Cow? On October 15th, 1910, President Taft was presented with Pauline Wayne, a blue-ribbon-winning Holstein. Pauline was a gift from Senator Isaac Stephenson from Wisconsin.

In September 1911, Pauline was invited to make her stage debut in the play “Way Down East” in Minnesota, but the President cordially declined. The following month, she traveled to the International Dairymen’s Exposition in Milwaukee, WI “in a style befitting a grand opera star” (according to the New York Times.)

Unfortunately, (also according to the NYT) she “narrowly escaped death” while in transit. Her train car was accidentally switched to a train of cattle headed to the meatpacking district in Chicago. After “frantic telegraphs” between the Dairymen’s Exposition organizers and the White House, they managed to track her down.

It appears that the next two years were largely uneventful for Pauline, although she did enjoy several exclusive interviews with the Washington Post. In 1913, Pauline was retired to Wisconsin to live out the rest of her days on Senator Stephenson’s farm. No other cow has grazed the White House lawn since.

Do you have a favorite presidential pet? I think mine might be Andrew Jackson’s parrot Poll, who during Jackson’s funeral “got excited and commenced swearing so loud and so long as to disturb the people and had to be carried from the house.”

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaQbTuuA03M/

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