New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern′s famous ′first cat′ dies | News | DW | 08.11.2017
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New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's famous 'first cat' dies

The feline gained esteem and notoriety after Jacinda Ardern became New Zealand Prime Minister. Over 11,000 followers regularly read her witty posts on Twitter.

Condolences were streaming in on Wednesday after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that her cat "Paddles" had died on Tuesday after being a run over by a car.

"To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you'll know how sad we feel," Ardern wrote on Facebook. "Paddles was much loved, and not just by us. Thanks for everyone's thoughts."

Twitter users paid tribute to the ginger and white feline with some users requesting a state funeral.

Gracie, the dog of US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown, also expressed condolences. "My mom, Dad and I are very sorry to hear about @FirstCatofNZ. We will all say a prayer tonight."

Paddles gained fame with her own Twitter account, "@FirstCatofNZ," after Ardern became New Zealand Prime Minister on October 19. She regularly posted Tweets to her thousands of followers on topics including body confidence, powerful women, and "dogsplaining."

The self-professed "First Cat" described herself as "fairly sassy and high maintenance" and "a non-practicing vegan."

Paddles notoriously disturbed Ardern's first telephone call with US President Donald Trump after reportedly leaping on the New Zealand leader's lap and making loud noises.

Ardern urged her followers on Facebook to donate to animal charity organization SPCA, adding, "They found her before we did, and we will always be grateful for that."

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