“First Cat” Paddles joins the ranks of presidential kitties

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern picks up Paddles, the country's first cat (Photo via Twitter @FirstCatofNZ)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern picks up Paddles, the country's "first cat" (Photo via Twitter @FirstCatofNZ)

New Zealand's new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading with a special feline by her side, her "First Cat" Paddles.

Paddles made her Twitter debut on Oct. 21 under the tag @FirstCatofNZ, and has since been adored by Arden's supporters and animal lovers worldwide.

Arden, who is the country's youngest-ever leader, rose to prominence in the labor party after entering parliament at age 28 in 2008.

Arden claims she has "no idea" who made the Twitter account, but said Paddles' polydactyl "thumbs" make her suspect. Polydactyl cats are born with extra toes on their paws.

"Keeping in mind Paddles has thumbs, I can't put it past her it's her own account as well," Arden joked.

"First Cat" Paddles is hardly the first presidential kitty to steal hearts.

Malaysia's Najib Razak is a well-known feline enthusiast, with four long-haired cats that lounge in his official residence. Leo, Kiki, Tiger and Simba are well-loved by Malaysians.

Taiwan's first female president Tsai Ing-wen adopted two cats from a rescue shelter, named Think Think and Ah Tsai.

In response to a picture of Tsai cuddling her kitty, Twitter user Jeremy Tiang asked, "Is Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen the first to use cat videos as an election strategy?"

Running up to the Brexit decision, the United Kingdom's foreign office adopted a feline named Palmerson. Apparently, it's favorite spot is Sir Simon McDonald's desk.

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