New Zealand PM’s neighbor lets the cat out of the bag

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 July 2019

New Zealand PM’s neighbor lets the cat out of the bag

  • Paddles, who was “polydactyl,” with extra toes that looked like thumbs, also once interrupted a phone call between Ardern and US President Donald Trump by jumping on a table

WELLINGTON: A guilt-ridden neighbor of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday that he was responsible for accidentally killing the nation’s “First Cat” Paddles while reversing out of his driveway.
Paddles died in November 2017, shortly after Ardern won office, but the full circumstances of the death were never publicly revealed, leading to curiosity about who killed the cat.
The much-loved feline was a popular member of the prime ministerial household, with a Twitter account set up in her name, @FirstCatofNZ, attracting more than 11,000 followers.
US magazine Vanity Fair praised the tech-savvy feline for “helping establish Ardern as the latest hip, cool world leader that America wishes it had.”
Paddles, who was “polydactyl,” with extra toes that looked like thumbs, also once interrupted a phone call between Ardern and US President Donald Trump by jumping on a table.
Ardern’s neighbor, identified only as Chris, told the stuff.co.nz news website that he was rushing back to work from a lunch break in his Auckland home when the prime ministerial moggy ran into the path of his reversing car.
“It was kind of shocking at first, and 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 said.
“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.”
He could have made a purrfect getaway, but Chris fronted up to the prime ministerial household and told them what he had done, saying Ardern was understanding.
He said his children even wrote a condolence card asking Ardern not to send their father to prison.
After Chris spoke publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday, the @FirstCatofNZ twitter account retweeted his story and made its first post in more than a year.
“I forgive you. #prrp.”

 


Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

Updated 20 October 2019

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

  • The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock
  • The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats

MADRID: Sheep replaced traffic on the streets of Madrid on Sunday as shepherds steered their flocks through the heart of the Spanish capital, following ancient migration routes.
The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock from northern Spain to more southerly pastures for winter grazing.
The route would have taken them through undeveloped countryside a few centuries ago, but today it cuts through Madrid’s bustling city center and along some of its most famous streets.
Sheep farmers pay a nominal charge in symbolic acknowledgement of a 1418 agreement with the city council that set a fee of 50 maravedis — medieval coins — per 1,000 sheep brought through the central Sol square and Gran Via street.
The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats.