Giles, a charismatic black kitty, took home a trophy and some stitches after finding himself stuck between a cushion and a hard place.
Giles won the 15th Annual Hambone Award, and this year’s competition was stiff. Some of the finalists included a Labrador that took an unexpected jump off a 36-foot-high bridge, a parrot slammed inside of a door, and a phone charger chewing pup.
The pet award program was started by Nationwide Insurance when a dog got mild hypothermia after getting stuck in a refrigerator and eating an entire ham.
“When they opened the door of the refrigerator, they found him and the bone,” Heidi Sirota, Nationwide’s president and chief pet officer, told CNN.
“This inspired us to create the Hambone Awards for the most ridiculous medical claims that we have for the pets we insure,” Sirota said.
When it comes to Giles’ owners, Kaitlyn and Reid, there is only one rule in the New York couple’s apartment: “When you’re putting the couch back together, you have to make sure that Giles isn’t under the couch,” Reid said in a video about the award.
Reid’s parents were visiting for a couple of days and would be sleeping on the sofa bed during their stay. Immediately upon their arrival, Reid told his parents about the rule, he said.
All went well until his parents were preparing to leave for the airport.
While Kaitlyn and Reid were still asleep, his step-mom and dad “went to put the sofa back together – but forgot to look underneath first,” a news release about the award stated.
“Something has happened, and we’re really sorry,” Reid’s step-mom said, explaining Giles was trapped under the couch.
“The mechanism or whatever bopped him in the face pretty good,” Reid recounted.
“We gotta take this cat to the vet, like, immediately,” he remembered saying.
Giles injuries weren’t life threatening, however, the black cat required stitches.
He had a ‘meow-ouch’, Sirota said. “He’s doing much better now.”
Although Giles was fine, his nine lives will never be the same.
“He’s picked up a particular phobia of anything with a hinge on it,” Reid noted in the video.
The family of the Hambone winner receives a trophy, gift card, and an opportunity to donate to a pet charity of their choice.
“We highlight these stories because it shows how valuable having protection for pet through pet insurance can be,” Sirota said. “And that is golden for most people.”