Man Reveals The Moment He Knew He Had Run Over Jacinda Ardern's Cat
Jacinda Ardern's cat, Paddles, was run over nearly two years ago.
Paddles -- or the First Cat of New Zealand as she was adorably dubbed -- was a national favourite and known for having an extra toe on each foot that looked like opposable thumbs.
She even had her own Twitter account, which since her death, has been called 'The Ghost of Paddles'.
"I am stardust," the account tweeted after her death in November 2017.
Paddles was hit by a car on the same day Ardern opened New Zealand parliament.
Chris, the neighbour who was driving the car at the time, has revealed the moment he realised he had killed the nation's favourite cat.
Speaking to stuff, Chris said he thought Paddles had survived the collision because it had run off afterwards.
Chris tried to search for the cat, and another neighbour revealed just who the cat belonged to once he described it.
"She said: 'that's my neighbour's cat'," Chris explained.
"I pointed at [Ardern's] house and said: 'Not this neighbour!'"
Chris and the neighbour eventually found Paddles but realised straight away that she hadn't survived.
Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, were both not at home, so the neighbour took Paddles to a vet.
"I went back to work and tried to gather myself. Later in the afternoon, I popped back to the neighbour's house and she said Paddles hadn't survived. But Clarke was home," Chris said.
"I went over and knocked on the door and Clarke came out. He was really nice and said 'look, it could have happened to anyone'. He was clearly very upset."
Chris' two daughters wrote sympathy cards for the Ardern-Clarkes, with one asking the Prime Minister to not send her dad to jail.
A few weeks later, Chris received a call from a blocked number.
"It was none other than Jacinda and she basically rang up to say 'sorry you had to go through that, thank you for stopping by and thanks for the card'.
"It was extremely nice of her to take time out of her day to check that I was okay for running over her cat."
After speaking out about the unfortunate incident, Chris seems to have been granted absolution by Paddles herself.
"I forgive you," her Twitter account tweeted.