It’s a sad day for New Zealand’s first family.
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:
Thank you so much for all the nice messages. Our crazy little 'sleep anywhere' ginger will be sorely missed, the house feels so empty now :( pic.twitter.com/OCJuJ3i4Xl— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) November 8, 2017
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:
Our ️s are with you, here in California.— Bloody Girl Gang (@BloodyGirlGang) November 8, 2017
Paddles @FirstCatofNZ was a whimsical bit of peace and hope for the world, from a peaceful and hopeful nation.— Kent Parkstreet (@kentparkstreet) November 8, 2017
Rest in peace, Paddles.
Here are some tweets to remember her by:
Hi, I'm Paddles and I am the First Cat of New Zealand. I have opposable thumbs, I'm purrty special. pic.twitter.com/MPkxdhWCRu— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 21, 2017
Thanks Mum for bringing me out so I can speak to the press. Must give the people what they want - and what they want is me. Prrrrp ️ pic.twitter.com/uiA1jk3qeN— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 21, 2017
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.