This cat had an unfortunate sofa bed mishap. Now he’s winning an ‘unusual’ award

Two New York City pet owners had “one and only one rule” for their apartment: make sure their cat Giles isn’t under the sofa bed when you push the pull-out mattress back in.

Reid and Kaitlyn, Giles’ owners, quickly found that rule broken when Reid’s parents came to visit them. Now, they’ve won an award for the unfortunate mishap.

Giles was the winner of Nationwide’s 15th annual Hambone Award, which is given to the nominee with “the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year,” according to a Sept. 28 Nationwide news release.

The ill-fated feline, who was adopted from a local cat rescue, walked away victorious because of his story of being “inadvertently smooshed” under the pair’s pull-out couch, the release says.

Giles the cat received the Hambone Award for his story of being crammed inside a sofa bed, according to a Nationwide news release.
Giles the cat received the Hambone Award for his story of being crammed inside a sofa bed, according to a Nationwide news release.

While staying overnight at the apartment, Reid’s stepmom told him that “something has happened,” he said in a Nationwide video about Giles. That “something” ended up being Giles crammed under the sofa bed when Reid’s parents pushed the mattress back inside. In the process, “the mechanism bopped him in the face pretty good,” Reid said in the release.

“Giles tends to run towards the danger,” Kaitlyn said in the video.

They rushed Giles to a veterinary hospital around the corner from their apartment, according to the release. Reid carried Giles in his cat carrier “football-style” while running up the street, he said in the video.

Luckily, Giles’ injuries weren’t “too bad,” they said in the release.

“He did need some stitches … but he was the model patient,” Reid said in the release.

Along with the stitches, Giles gained with a new phobia of “anything with a hinge on it,” Reid said in the video. Now Giles, named after the beloved librarian on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is walking away with something else for his troubles: a new trophy.

To find pets who may be eligible for the Hambone Award, the Nationwide claims team flags interesting stories while “processing the millions of claims” they receive yearly, Nationwide’s pet insurance president and chief pet officer Heidi Sirota told McClatchy News in an email. Then, the company works to narrow down the pool and contact “parents of these perilous pets” to see if they’d like to be a nominee, she said.

To win the coveted Hambone award, Giles beat out nine other pet nominees with their own odd, unlucky stories. Those pets were:

  • Aurora, a goldendoodle who broke her leg while attempting to pull it out of a “snow-covered storm drain grate.”

  • Belle, a Jindo dog who got into a “tussle” with a deer

  • Bernie, a mixed breed dog who was hit by an ATV

  • Grayson Haze, a Labrador retriever who jumped off a 36-foot bridge

  • Jax, a pug who had heat stroke after snuggling a comforter following a surgery

  • Josie, a mixed breed dog who broke her jaw and knocked out four teeth playing fetch

  • Miko, a cat who got bit in the face by a dove after leaping at the birds

  • Rolex, a green-cheeked parakeet who was “inadvertently slammed” in a door

  • Sunny, a Labrador retriever who ate three phone chargers

The decision of which pet would get the Hambone Award came down to a public vote, which was Sept. 13-22. In recognition of the award, Giles’ family earned a Hambone trophy, a gift card and a donation to a pet charity of their choosing.

The two runners-up behind Giles were Jax and Sunny.

The Hambone Award was aptly named after a dog got hypothermia when it was “stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire holiday ham” while inside, the release says.

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