New Zealand’s first cat and internet sensation, Paddles, has sadly died.
The ginger and white cat belonging to the country’s new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, was struck down by a car on Tuesday, according to the New Zealand Herald.
A neighbour found it hoping that it was unconscious, but a vet later pronounced it dead.
“I’m pretty upset,” a neighbour told the newspaper. “She’s very much part of the neighbourhood. Most people around here would know who she is.”
Paddles had been quickly gaining quite the profile online, thanks to an unofficial Twitter account set up in its name, @FirstCatOfNZ.
On Instagram, Ardern thanked everyone for their thoughts and asked people to “please be kind” to New Zealand’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you’ll know how sad we feel. Paddles was much loved, and not just by us,” she wrote.
Most recently, Paddles was close to interrupting the first call between Ardern and Donald Trump, according to the prime minister’s partner, Clarke Gayford.
“As the call was transferred our cat (yes that bloody cat) came flying through the cat-flap. She leapt up onto the chair next to Jacinda and began announcing her very squawky arrival,” Gayford wrote in The Spinoff.
“There was a flurry of action as I tried to hustle it into the next room while quite literally the leader of the free world was connected through to our little home in Pt Chev.”
More than a few tributes have been posted on Twitter for Paddles.
RIP Paddles, you were too good for this world.