Neighbour confesses he killed N.Z. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cat Paddles

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s guilty neighbour has let the cat out of the bag — he accidentally killed her cat almost two years ago.

The famous feline, dubbed the First Cat of New Zealand, attracted a viral following for her cute antics, extra opposable thumbs (polydactyly) and interrupting a call between Ardern and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The man, who said his name was Chris, told Stuff he drove over the orange-and-white rescue cat after hastily driving back to work during his lunch break.

Although he thought Paddles survived, Chris worked with a neighbour to get the furball to a hospital.

Soon after, he learned the first pet had died — and then discovered she belonged to the prime minister and her partner Clarke Gayford, leaving him in disbelief.

“I felt fairly bad because I knew a bit of the back story, I knew Paddles had some kind of social media presence and had an extra toe,” he told Stuff.

“I was also aware that to Jacinda and Clarke, Paddles was their fur baby at that point that they loved, so I was pretty gutted.”

Later that day, he knocked on the Prime Minister’s front door to tell her and Gayford what happened. Chris says while they were devastated, they were also understanding.

His children even wrote Ardern an apology card, pleading with her not to send their father to jail.

Although he still feels guilty, part of what prompted this public confession, Paddles’ Twitter account — now named the Ghost of Paddles — replied:

“I forgive you.”

• Email: | Twitter: bobbyhristova

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