Jacinda Ardern's neighbour reportedly admits to killing Paddles, first cat of New Zealand

Man going by the name of Chris says he wrote condolence card for Ardern and her partner, Clarke GayfordJacinda Ardern's neighbour reportedly admits to killing Paddles, first cat of New ZealandThe man who killed New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s cat has reportedly broken his silence, more than a year after he ran over the first cat of New Zealand . Shortly after Ardern became the prime minister-elect in October 2017, her polydactyl cat named Paddles shot to fame, and even had her own Twitter account.
The Ghost of Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) 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 died in October 2017 after being hit by a car near Ardern’s Point Chevalier home. Her death made the news around the world. Now the neighbour who hit the prime minister’s cat in his car has spoken out for the first time, telling Stuff.co.nz that, after hitting Paddles, he wasn’t sure if the cat was still alive, because she had run off after the collision.

When he asked a female neighbour about the cat, and said it was ginger, the man became alarmed.

“She said ‘That’s my neighbour’s cat’,” the man going by the name of Chris explained. “I pointed at [Ardern’s] house and said: ‘Not this neighbour!’”

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Chris said he took Paddles to the vet but it was too late. Chris said he wrote a condolence card for Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford. In the card Chris’s daughter said she hoped Ardern would not send him to prison for running over the first cat. Later on, Ardern called Chris to say thank you for the card and to apologise for the ordeal, according to the report.

“It was extremely nice of her to take time out of her day to check that I was OK for running over her cat,” he said.

Ardern and Gayford’s daughter Neve was born just over one year ago. Ardern is currently on holiday with Gayford and Neve in Rarotonga.