RIP Paddles: “First Cat of New Zealand” hit by car

The death of Paddles has left New Zealand in a puddle of tears.

Paddles was the First Cat of New Zealand. Paddles also had six toes. But even with those opposable thumbs, Paddles couldn’t outrun a car. Paddles was killed on Wednesday.

Jacinda Ardern, the country’s prime minister, posted about her loss on Facebook.

“To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you’ll know how sad we feel. Paddles was much loved, and not just by us,” Ardern wrote.

The prime minister thanked everyone for their kind thoughts.

She also urged people to pay it forward.

“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,” she wrote of the animal charity.

The response was swift.

“We are so thankful that Jacinda and Clarke asked the public to donate to us in Paddles’ memory,” the SPCA wrote. “These donations will go towards giving hundreds of animals just like Paddles a safe place to sleep, food to fill their bellies, and lots of love and care before they find their forever homes.”

And little wonder.

Paddles was quick to become a countrywide sensation.

A Twitter account attracted almost 12,000 followers.

Paddles was beloved by all but mostly by her mum.

Which made Paddles a bit of a celebrity.

And a political gadfly.

Not bad for a kitty with an unenviable start as a kitten found on the streets just three days before Christmas.

RIP, Paddles.

Photos First Cat of New Zealand/Twitter

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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