American Presidents have a wide range of reputations. A reputation for having unusual pets, or even particularly nice ones, is not generally among them. Household pets for the White House seem to be limited to rather bland ones like dogs, often ones with a tendency, like their owners, to roll around drooling on the carpet in the Lincoln bedroom. On rare occasions, the leader of the free world will choose a cat, showing better judgment in their taste in pets than in their plans for the nation and the world. One president chose a pet that was practical as well as just a bit unusual for the most powerful man on the planet. President William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, had not one but two cows as pets. Pauline Wayne, a Holstein cow, replaced Mooly Wooly in the President’s household. Miss Wayne, as she was called, would wander around the White House grounds keeping the lawn neatly trimmed. She did double duty and supplied the Taft household with fresh milk. It is also rather nice that Miss Wayne did not also provide the main course for any dinners, state or otherwise. She was essentially a pet and people should not eat pets. This practical yet tender side of Taft explains many things. It explains why, on the 19th in 1912, Taft pardoned William H. Van Schaick, the captain of the steamship General Slocum, who had been imprisoned for 3 ½ years in Sing Sing prison after being found liable for the deaths of over 1,000 people when the steamship General Slocum burned and sank in New York City’s East River on June 15, 1904.