A text message reading "Thatcher has died" set off a diplomatic flurry among members of Canada's parliament at a black tie dinner this week, local media reported on Thursday.
Stephen Harper, Canada's conservative prime minister, was quickly informed that Baroness Thatcher, the 84-year-old former British Prime Minister, had passed away.
The prime minister's office called Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street to confirm that Lady Thatcher had indeed passed away - baffling British officials, CanWest News Service said.
It turned out the message was sent by John Baird, the transport minister, from his home in Toronto to a person at the gala dinner to say that his beloved 16-year-old gray tabby cat, named for Lady Thatcher, had died. The recipient then forwarded it to others.
Dimitri Soudas, an aide, was already preparing an official statement mourning the loss of the Iron Lady when news came from London that she was very much alive.
"If the cat wasn't dead, I'd have killed it by now," Mr Soudas is reported to have said of the 16-year-old grey tabby.