Skip To Content

    Please Take Just One Minute To Appreciate The New "First Cat" Of New Zealand

    "I am honoured to serve both people and puss."

    You might be aware that Labour's Jacinda Ardern will be the next prime minister of New Zealand after winning the backing of NZ First and the Greens to form government.

    You may NOT be aware that Ardern has a cat called Paddles. And Paddles has opposable thumbs! Here she is with her thumbs! Look at them!

    Hi, I'm Paddles and I am the First Cat of New Zealand. I have opposable thumbs, I'm purrty special.

    Paddles is polydactyl, meaning she has some extra toes.

    After it was announced that Ardern would be the next PM, a Twitter account for Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) sprung up.

    Me before becoming First Cat. Life was so easy. It was the campaign of my life and I am honoured to serve both peop…

    An aura of mystery surrounds the account, which Paddles insists she is running herself.

    Paddles is behind her own social media presence. I'm a strong independent puss who don't need no human via @theage

    The account has interacted with Ardern's partner, New Zealand fishing personality Clarke Gayford.

    @FirstCatofNZ WTF Paddles?! I KNEW you were pretend sleeping when I just checked. ....There's Snapper in the fridg…

    He even tagged @FirstCatOfNZ in this tweet. LOOK AT PADDLES HOLDING A PEN.

    just spent all morning explaining to cat that she's not even 1 yet so how can she possibly be writing her memoirs T…

    But Ardern said neither she nor Gayford have a role in their cat's online activity. I guess it really is Paddles.

    Ardern confirms she nor @NZClarke are behind Paddles' twitter account @FirstCatofNZ - but happy for it to continue.

    One of the most famous first cats, Larry from Number 10 Downing Street, welcomed Paddles to Twitter.

    Anyway, we hope to see more of Paddles and her thumbs.

    Thanks Mum for bringing me out so I can speak to the press. Must give the people what they want - and what they wan…