December 7, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Cat wins Hamboney after folding up into a sofa bed

Cat wins Hamboney after folding up into a sofa bed

Courtesy nationwide

Giles, a cat from New York, won a nationwide Hambone Award for Most Unusual Pet Insurance Claim of the Year.


Giles, the charismatic black cat, was given a trophy and some stitches after finding himself stuck between a pillow and a hard place.

Giles won 15th Annual Hambone AwardThe competition this year was intense. The finalists included a Labrador dog that made an unexpected leap off a 36-foot bridge, a parrot that crashed into a door, and a puppy that chewed on a phone charger.

The pet rewards program was started by Nationwide Insurance when a dog suffered mild hypothermia after getting stuck in the freezer and eating a whole ham.

“When they opened the refrigerator door, they found him and the bones,” Heidi Sirota, Nationwide’s president and chief pet insurance officer, told CNN.

“This inspired us to create the Hambone Awards for the most ridiculous medical claims we make for the pets we insure,” Sirota said.

Courtesy nationwide

Giles with the Hambone Award.

When it comes to Giles’ owners, Caitlin and Reid, there’s only one rule in the couple’s New York apartment: “When you put the sofa back together, you have to make sure Giles isn’t under the sofa.” Reid said in video About the award.

Reid’s parents were visiting for two days and slept on the sofa bed during their stay. He added that upon their arrival, Reed told his parents about the base.

Everything went well until his parents prepared to leave for the airport.

While Kaitlyn and Reed were still asleep, his stepmom and dad “went to put the couch back together — but forgot to look under it first,” a press release about the award said.

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“Something happened, and we’re really sorry,” Reed’s wife said, explaining that Giles was trapped under the couch.

“The mechanism or whatever else kind of nagged him in the face pretty good,” Reed recounted.

“We have to take this cat to the vet right away,” he remembers saying.

Giles’ injuries were not life-threatening, but the black cat needed stitches.

“He had a meow,” Sirota said. “He’s in much better shape now.”

Even though Giles was fine, his nine lives would never be the same.

“He picked up a particular phobia of anything with a joint,” Reed noted in the video.

The Hambone winner’s family receives a trophy, gift card and the opportunity to donate to a pet charity of their choice.

“We’re highlighting these stories because they show how important it is to protect pets with pet insurance,” Sirota said. “This is gold for most people.”