Famous for her vibrant ginger coat, big green eyes and sassy Twitter account, Paddles the cat became known to the world when her owner Jacinda Ardern was elected New Zealand's Prime Minister.
With more than 11,400 followers on Twitter, Paddles had begun building a profile for herself as one of the most powerful, yet adorable cats in New Zealand. Vanity Fair even reported that Paddles had a vital role in making Ardern the "latest hip, cool world leader that America wish it had".
But, just three weeks after taking office, Ardern has to face some sad news. Paddles has been killed after being hit by a car.
— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) November 7, 2017
The New Zealand Herald reported the PM's office confirmed the death occurred on Tuesday.
"Yes, sadly Paddles has died after being run over by a car near the Point Chevalier home of the PM yesterday evening," the spokesperson said.
You asked fur it. pic.twitter.com/JQuCpqiLej— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) November 2, 2017
Hi, I'm Paddles and I am the First Cat of New Zealand. I have opposable thumbs, I'm purrty special. pic.twitter.com/MPkxdhWCRu— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 21, 2017
Ardern had a visibly close relationship with Paddles. She was part of Ardern's support network throughout the election campaign and during the first three weeks of her Prime Ministership. Regardless of this, Paddles' Twitter bio emphasises that she was impartial to the political world.
"First Cat of New Zealand," the Bio reads. "Have thumbs, will tweet. Not affurliated with Labour Pawty. Bullies will be SCRATSCHED /blocked."
Thanks Mum for bringing me out so I can speak to the press. Must give the people what they want - and what they want is me. Prrrrp ❤️ pic.twitter.com/uiA1jk3qeN— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 21, 2017
There has been an outpouring of grief from Paddles' fans on Twitter, one user even calling for a state funeral for the feline.
@GovGeneralNZ surely a state funeral for the spiritual leader of the nation and first cat, Paddles ❤️🐱— ꧁Archie Buissink꧂ (@ArchieBuissink) November 7, 2017
I can't believe it. Paddles, the First Cat of NZ has been killed by a car. She was so young, and I was looking fwd to see her grow up. 😭 https://t.co/4wfrfAdbtw— Jerry Kung (@jerryin3d) November 7, 2017
Genuinely shocked and horrified that Paddles, the beloved First Cat of New Zealand has passed 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/rPHnJadhZo— Devon H (@devonmonique) November 7, 2017
Paddles the cat is dead?— Martyn Bradbury (@CitizenBomber) November 7, 2017
What new horror is this?
While many can't believe that something so sad has happened, one thing is for sure -- Paddles will certainly be missed.Suggest a correction