Happier times in The Lodge...Kevin Rudd with Abby and Jasper. Photo: Glen McCurtayne
Jasper the cat, Australia's former first feline, has passed away.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd announced today that his family cat had died after a battle with kidney problems.
''Just a note to all our animal loving friends out there – our much loved family member Jasper the cat passed away yesterday at home,'' Mr Rudd posted on Twitter.
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''Thanks from me, Therese and our kids for all your well wishes in recent months while our little guy was battling on.''
Mr Rudd had been keeping his 1.1 million Twitter followers updated on Jasper's progress.
Earlier this month, the Member for Griffith reported that the cat was back in the cat clinic.
''Jasper has pretty bad kidneys. So the deal is to rehydrate and try and stabilise. Hasn't been eating properly for a week,'' Mr Rudd said.
Video: Jasper stars in Afternoon Tea with Kevin Rudd
Jasper rose to fame when the Rudds moved into The Lodge in 2007, along with the family dog Abby.
The two were also the subject of a picture book Mr Rudd wrote with Rhys Muldoon, Jasper and Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle.
The two pets also frequently appeared in the cartoon, First Dog On The Moon, where Jasper was portrayed as a cat with a definite personality (who was prepared to stay and defend The Lodge post-June 2010), in contrast to Abby's more laid back style.
Mr Muldoon expressed his condolences today.
"RIP the mighty Jasper. Condolences. All other cats are saying 'This. THIS was a Cat'," he tweeted.