Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s prime minister (from 26th Oct 2017). She is the youngest female leader, at 37, of any country in the world. And, yes, wait for it, she is a cat owner and judging by her demeanor in the photo of her holding her cat, Paddles, she genuinely likes cats. She is a progressive social democrat. I hope she is progressive about all things to do with animal welfare. She supports same sex marriage.
This is excellent news for people like me because New Zealand went through a phase recently when prominent scientists and those who dislike cats were arguing for culling feral cats and general restrictions on cat ownership. I hope she’ll add balance to the debate about feral cats in New Zealand and scotch any desire for mass killings.
Paddles is polydactyl, hence the name. She is a ginger solid-and-white. She made her Twitter debut on 21st October (over 7k followers) . Any cat celebrity worth their salt has to have a Twitter account. She should have an Instagram account too.
Paddles is described as the country’s First Cat. Jacinda’s partner, now First Man, is Clarke Gayford.
Lions have been declawed in New Zealand. I’d hope that she is able to push through a law banning it. There is no place in the world for declawing and certainly not in New Zealand, a relatively enlightened country.
Leader Jacinda Ardern and her cat Paddles have joined other animal-loving leaders around the region.