Paddles, New Zealand's Famous First Cat, Has Died

Lee Moran
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s rescue cat Paddles, who rose to fame last month following her owner’s election victory, died on Tuesday night after being struck by a car.

It’s a sad day for New Zealand’s first family.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s rescue cat Paddles, who rose to fame last month following her owner’s election victory, died on Tuesday night after being struck by a car.

An unnamed neighbor found the ginger and white puss in the road outside Ardern’s home, the New Zealand Herald reported. A veterinarian later declared the animal dead.

I’m pretty upset,” said the neighbor. “She’s very much part of the neighborhood. Most people around here would know who she is.”

Ardern paid tribute to her late pet on Facebook:

Ardern’s partner, Clarke Gayford, expressed similar sentiments on Twitter:

Paddles, who had six toes on each foot, became an internet sensation in October when the @FirstCatofNZ Twitter feed launched. Both Ardern and Gayford denied running the account, which posted pictures of Paddles posing with her powerful owner. The account also interacted with other important felines from around the world.

The person behind the account honored Paddles with this tweet:

Hundreds of others worldwide joined in:

Rest in peace, Paddles.

Here are some tweets to remember her by:

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.