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Image: Bush cat India
Paul Morse/White House
Daughter Barbara, then 9, named the cat “India” after Ruben Sierra, a former major league player whose nickname was "El Indio."
updated 1/5/2009 11:46:00 AM ET 2009-01-05T16:46:00

The first family leaving the White House this month will be without one of its longtime members: the Bush family's 18-year-old cat has died.

The first lady's office said Monday that India, a black American shorthair named for former Texas Rangers player Ruben Sierra, died Sunday at the White House.

Bush daughter Barbara, then 9, named the cat “India” after Sierra, a former major league player, whose nickname was "El Indio." President George W. Bush was a former co-owner of the Texas Rangers.

When Bush daughters Barbara and Jenna went to college, the cat stayed at the White House with the president and first lady. The family affectionately called the cat “Kitty.”

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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