Our report on the new decor of the White House closed with the comment that in the President's private family quarters a ''less inviting, don't-touch tidiness'' might soon be ''remedied by time, wear and Socks'' ((THE WHITE HOUSE, Dec. 6)). This prompted Nancy J.D. Harding of McLean, Virginia, to write us about a truly malicious presidential feline: ''One cat before Socks has already distinguished himself in the wreckage department -- Calvin Coolidge's.'' The pet, appropriately named Tiger, wore out his welcome very quickly. ''Evidently Tiger was a real 'Conan the Destroyer' beastie,'' reports Harding. ''His destructive ways cost the Coolidges a...

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