New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the death of the country’s first-ever "first cat," Paddles, on Wednesday, prompting reactions filled with grief and sadness on Twitter.

A spokesperson for Ardern confirmed to local media that Paddles had died after being hit by a car near the prime minister’s home in Auckland, The Guardian reported.

The ginger cat was adopted from the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and was well-known for her polydactyl abnormality, which meant she had extra claws that looked like thumbs.

Paddles shot to fame on social media soon after Arden assumed office last month. An anonymous user set up a Twitter account last month under the name "First Cat of NZ" which posted regular tweets about the cat’s famous "mummy" and pictures of the feline. The account has over 11 thousand followers. The bio of Paddles’ account read: "Have thumbs, will tweet. Not affurliated with Labour Pawty. Bullies will be SCRATSCHED/blocked."

According to The New Zealand Herald, the driver of the car that hit Paddles told a local woman who took the cat to a vet, hoping she was merely unconscious. However, the doctor declared her dead on arrival.

Ardern took to Facebook to mourn the death of her cat and said: "To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you'll know how sad we feel. Paddles was much loved, and not just by us. Thanks for everyone's thoughts. And on behalf of Paddles, please be kind to the SPCA. They found her before we did, and we will always be grateful for that."

On Twitter, Paddles’ followers offered tributes and condolences and some expressed their shock.

The twitter account of the dog of the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown, also tweeted saying:

The creator of Paddles' Twitter account said Arden’s partner Clarke Gayford asked that people make a donation to the SPCA if they wished to remember the feline.

Recently, in an article by the New Zealand publication, The Spinoff, Clarke said Paddles was present during Ardern’s phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump and had even interrupted her.

"There we were at home on a Sunday morning when 'Nick' from the 'Situation Room' in a thick all-American accent called to give a 30-minute heads up," he said and added: "As the call was transferred our cat (yes that bloody cat) came flying through the cat-flap. She leapt up onto the chair next to Jacinda and began announcing her very squawky arrival. There was a flurry of action as I tried to hustle it into the next room while quite literally the leader of the free world was connected through to our little home in Pt Chev."

Newshub reported that several donations flowed into the SPCA.

"We are thankful that Jacinda and [partner Clarke Gayford] asked the public to donate to us in Paddles’ memory," an SPCA spokesperson told Newshub. "These donations will go toward helping rescue other kittens like Paddles."