The pet cat of New Zealand’s Prime Minister and her partner was killed by a car in Auckland on Tuesday morning.
The ginger and white moggy was popular with citizens of New Zealand and the world, sharing its life through a Twitter account, @firstcatofNZ.
The Twitter account of the first cat confirmed the news, asking those who wished to remember Paddles to donate to the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The cat, who had opposable thumbs, was adopted by Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford from the charity.
The PM posted a tribute to her cat on Instagram, writing: “To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you’ll know how sad we feel. Paddles was much loved, and not just by us.
“Thanks for everyone’s thoughts. And on behalf of Paddles, please be kind to the SPCA. They found her before we did, and we will always be grateful for that.”
After the news of Paddles’ death emerged, fans of the little guy took to Twitter to pay their respects and share their grief.
Me on hearing the news Paddles, the First Cat of NZ and spiritual leader of our nation, has passed away 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/5kCXxpYD15— Anna Loren (@annaloren) November 7, 2017
Observing a moment's silence to mark the tragic passing of Paddles, @FirstCatofNZ
Taken from us too, too soon pic.twitter.com/4utqLqKZuP— Nick Grant (@Nof_Grant) November 7, 2017
The country needs a national holiday to mourn all our lost pets. Rip paddles. Some cat.— Qofd (@qofdnz) November 7, 2017
Rest in peace, Paddles.