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A day after Fiona the hippo captivated the internet by photobombing a couple’s wedding photos, a new and more cuddly contender is coming after her throne. Her name is Paddles. Paddles has steadily risen as a prominent figure on social media after her human, 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern, became prime minister of New Zealand this month.
Paddles opened her account under the handle @FirstCatofNZ shortly after her “mum” was appointed in office and named her cabinet members, with over 452 tweets already sent out. The official Twitter account for Young Labor gave the kitten a shout out a few days later after the account opened.
The cheeky feline has already amassed over 6,000 tweets with her humorous and adorable personality that even got dogs barking up her tree.
Damn dirty dog *coughs* I mean hello yes lovely to meet you too Gracie 😽 https://t.co/ETc5vkIkwy— The Ghost of Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 23, 2017
And she’s not any ordinary kitten. She is a polydactyl kitten meaning she was born with a few extra digits. Case in point: adorable thumbs that allow Paddles to write.
As New Zealand’s first cat, Paddles has already passed down house rules, namely how to correctly pronounce her name…
But she’s also getting political about New Zealand’s healthcare.
Sounds like compurrcated pawlicy for a wee puss to deal with, but I’m sure it will be much better than it has been https://t.co/HVeMSVE9qS— Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 24, 2017
Paddles pledges fealty to no one, not even the “Labour Pawty,” and instead identifies as an independent although the sole 12 accounts she follows are all politicians. As a self-proclaimed representative for her fellow kin, Paddles’ tweets pertain mostly to her favorite snack, policies on cat and dog treatment, and taking questions from her “constituents” through her own hashtag, #AskPaddles.
Seems fair that tax paying cats should have access to welfare and voting. We’re steakholders even if we prefer fish. 🎣 https://t.co/QrJAGXCudV— The Ghost of Paddles (@FirstCatofNZ) October 24, 2017
Paddles, do you have any policy plans for dogs? #AskPaddles— Dan Moskovitz (@danmosky) October 23, 2017
Danielle Ransom is a journalist who has worked as a researcher for CNN, NBC's KXAN-TV, CBS' KEYE-TV.