RIP, Paddles the premier's cat

Central Station | 9 Nov 2017

Paddles, the New Zealand prime minister's ginger cat, may have had six toes and a wide social media following but she has run out of lives.

Jacinda Ardern, the charismatic new leader of New Zealand, announced the death of the Prime Moggy yesterday after Paddles was hit by a car the night before, prompting an outpouring of grief on social media.

Paddles' rise to social media fame matched her 37-year-old owner's meteoric ascent to the prime ministership after only taking over as leader of her Labour Party in August.

A "First Cat of NZ" Twitter account was set up by an anonymous user last month, featuring regular tweets about the photogenic cat's famous "mummy", Ardern, and quickly attracted 11,000 followers.

People from around the world posted messages such as "rest in peace" and "gone too soon" with the hashtag "#paddles".

Paddles the polydactyl cat's feats included being able to hold a pair of glasses with her opposable thumb and she featured regularly in photos of Ardern at work.

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