New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is asking people to “please be kind to the SPCA” after the death of her cat, Paddles.
Posting on Instagram on Wednesday after it was revealed that her rescue cat was hit by a car and killed on Tuesday, she thanked people for their thoughts.
“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.”
Jacinda Ardern’s press secretary Mike Jaspers confirmed: “Sadly Paddles was run over by a car near the Prime Minister’s home in Point Chevalier.”
Gareth Morgan tweeted asking if Ardern’s cat was “out and about wandering” when the accident happened.
But a man who lives a few doors down from Ardern, who did not want to be named, said he had “never seen the cat wandering around”.
The cat, who had a Twitter feed dedicated to her antics after the election, had already amassed a following of over 11,000 fans.
The FirstCatOfNZ account has put out a message saying “sad PR Guy here.Tysm for loving Paddles, the whole world will mourn her.Not bad for a lil SPCA puss. #PrrpForever.”
Paddles also had an Instagram account, which had almost 400 followers.
This afternoon, Paddles posted, seemingly from beyond the grave, giving thanks for comments, urging kindness to each other and asking people to donate to the SPCA.
“Live fast, die young. I’ll always be in your hearts. Please be kind to one another. In lieu of fish please make donations to the New Zealand SPCA” the statement said.
Ardern’s partner, Clarke Gayford, has asked that people donate funds to the SPCA in memory of Paddles if they desire to as the double-thumbed Paddles was an SPCA cat.
Just spoke w Paddles’ Dad, @NZClarke. If you would like to remember Paddles you are most welcome and encouraged to donate to the NZ SPCA. ????
— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) November 7, 2017
Tributes to Paddles have already started pouring in, including from condolences from the US Ambassador’s dog, Gracie Brown.
Paddles’ life was pretty breezy before Jacinda Ardern claimed the prime ministership.
Paddles wasn’t the only politically-minded Kiwi ginger tomcat. Sir Jerry Mateparae, now New Zealand’s High Commissioner in London, brought his “Depcatty High Commissioner” Boots with him to London.
My mom, Dad and I are very sorry to hear about @FirstCatofNZ. We will all say a prayer tonight. ????
— Gracie Brown (@DiploDogGracie) November 7, 2017
— Young Greens (@YoungGreensNZ) November 7, 2017
RIP lovely Paddles, @FirstCatofNZ. Your loyal subjects will all miss you. Gone too soon. ????
— Lizzie Marvelly (@LizzieMarvelly) November 7, 2017
@GovGeneralNZ surely a state funeral for the spiritual leader of the nation and first cat, Paddles ❤️????
— Archie Buissink (@ArchieBuissink) November 7, 2017
Me before becoming First Cat. Life was so easy. It was the campaign of my life and I am honoured to serve both people and puss. pic.twitter.com/dwf5hDVT5J
— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 22, 2017
Mum on tv laffin at my finny ???? I mean funny tweets. Back of some guys head idk ????♀️ *aggressively licks inside thigh* pic.twitter.com/NcPumsVp6v
— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 28, 2017
You asked fur it. pic.twitter.com/JQuCpqiLej
— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) November 2, 2017
— NZ High Commission (@NZinUK) October 30, 2017
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