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Paddles, New Zealand PM’s ‘first cat’ dies in car crash

Paddles the cat licks his lips as a cooked lobster lies next to it on tinfoil

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Clarke Gayford via Twitter

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Jacinda Ardern’s cat Paddles had gained a cult following after a Twitter profile was set up in her name

A cat belonging to New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has died after being hit by a car.

A spokesperson for Ms Ardern confirmed to local media that the so-called “First Cat” Paddles had died in an accident on Tuesday.

The cat was well-known for its polydactyl abnormality – she had extra claws that looked like thumbs.

A rescue cat, she had a following of thousands on Twitter, where her profile read: “Have thumbs, will tweet.”

She belonged to Ms Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford, who has become known as New Zealand’s ‘first gent’ since his wife became the country’s youngest prime minister in over 150 years last month.

Social media has been filled with fans of the ginger and white cat expressing their upset that she had unexpectedly passed away.

A post on the @FirstCatofNZ account confirmed Paddles’ death with a tweet that started: “V sad PR Guy here.”

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