Fall 2023

Black cat has unlucky run-in with folding sofa

Meet the fearless feline who won over our Hambone Award voters with his folding sofa fiasco.

Some people consider black cats to be unlucky—but often, black cats turn out to be the luckiest pets of them all, matched only by how lucky their families are to love them.

Take, for example, a fearless feline from the Big Apple named Giles.

Kitty from the city

Giles was originally discovered in a subway station by a rescue that specializes in placing black cats with adoptive families. One such family was Kaitlyn R. and Reid W., a couple in Brooklyn who were looking to add a new feline to their home.

“We both really like black cats,” Kaitlyn says.

“They're the least adopted of all cats,” Reid adds. “I think it's because they're hard to photograph.”

Kaitlin adds, “Also, some people are scared of black cats maybe?”

Giles was staying with a foster family after his rescue. Kaitlyn and Reid hopped on the train to go meet in person the handsome feline they saw online. Immediately, all three felt the connection.

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“He immediately fell on his belly, so we’d have to give him scratches,” Kaitlyn remembers.

Reid continues, “I think we took him home that day. It was like love at first sight.”

Kaitlyn laughs. “Yeah, it was all over,” she says.

From that moment, it was settled. Giles had found his fur-ever match.

Reid says, “We put him in the cab and away we went, and he's never left our side since.”

An unwelcome Christmas surprise

Giles settled into his new indoor life quickly, complete with luxurious naps on the spiral staircase (and an occasional unexpected spill from the top). He was active and extra loving at home, if not a little accident-prone.

Giles the black cat lays out on a white chair in the living room

However, when an infection led to a surprise Christmas eve trip to the emergency veterinarian, the new pet parents soon realized they could use some added support.

“Giles had an infection when we first got him,” Reid says. “We took him to the hospital, and it was a very hefty vet bill—like, thousands of dollars. We [realized], ‘Oh my god, this is basically all the money we have in the world.’”

Giles got the care he needed, but the couple took a financial hit from the experience. They decided pet insurance was necessary to soften the burden of any future surprise veterinary visits. Luckily, Kaitlyn had recently started a job that offered Nationwide® pet insurance as a voluntary benefit. She signed up immediately.

Kaitlyn adds, “I was like, ‘Oh, I have benefit elections,’ and we had just been talking about getting insurance … and we've had Giles insured ever since.”

Giles and the great meow-tdoors

Giles hasn’t just been cooped up at home since his adoption—in fact, this city kitty been out on the road quite a lot.

Reid says, “For the last couple of years, we've been traveling a lot. [Kaitlyn is] originally from Utah, and we went out west a couple times during the lockdowns—and Giles went with us. We loaded up the car and put him in the back seat in his little carrier. He's driven from New York to Los Angeles and back twice now. He's been to the Grand Canyon. Joshua Tree, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park. He's been everywhere.”

Giles the black cat stares out the window

Kaitlyn continues, “He's a travel cat now. He's been to the two farthest points of the United States. He's been all the way to California, the ocean and then we had him all the way in Nantucket.”

Unfortunately, life on the road hasn’t always been easy. During one road trip, he was diagnosed with a genetic condition that required extensive, immediate dental surgery. Fortunately, his pet insurance coverage didn’t stop at the state line.

Kaitlyn recalls, "Dental surgery was equally as expensive as the hospital visit [on Christmas], and Nationwide essentially paid for all of it."

Reid adds, "Giles has vets in all states now".

Luckily, Giles landed on his feet throughout his various adventures. However, for Giles the most perilous act wouldn’t be a matter of landing on his feet—but being caught underfoot.

Squeezed in the sofa

Reid’s parents were staying with Kaitlyn and Reid during a visit to the city. They slept on a pull-out couch in the living room during their stay, and Reid gave them a heads up to check under the sofa whenever folding it back together.

Reid says, “You have to make sure that Giles isn't under the couch, because it's a crawlspace and there's not a lot of those in the apartment—when the couch is open, he's under there."

Giles the black cat finds a hiding spot near the sofa

After a fun week, Reid’s parents readied themselves for the journey home. As they packed for the airport, they started organizing the living room. But when they put the sofa back together, they forgot to look underneath. Then, they heard a sound.

“I come out and my stepmom is like, ‘Something has happened,’” Reid remembers. “‘We're really sorry, but [Giles] got trapped under the couch.’ When they put the couch away, they didn't realize that he was under there and … the mechanism or whatever bopped him in the face pretty good.”

“We got him in his carrier and ran him up the street,” Reid continues. “Luckily, we have a wonderful vet hospital just around the corner from us, so we were able to take him right there. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad. He did need some stitches … but he was the model patient, as he always is.”

Giles’s purr-plexing experience didn’t go unnoticed. Not long after, his story was selected for the Hambone Awards, an annual celebration of the strangest stories our Nationwide pet insurance claims team comes across. Voting was open to the public from September 13-22. When all was said and done, Giles emerged with the most votes and received the coveted bronze Hambone trophy. Other fan favorites included Jax, a pug who snuggled too hard and overheated himself and Sunny, a Labrador retriever who shimmied his craft 5-feet to snack on some cords.

Giles the black cat sitting on a sofa next to the Hambone Award trophy

Protected by Nationwide

In a stressful situation, a little extra support goes a long way. Giles managed to emerge from his sofa experience unscathed, but Kaitlyn and Reid took comfort knowing they could get him the care he needed regardless of the cost.

Reid says, "You can save yourself a lot of money and time and peace of mind, by getting [pet insurance]. It's like, super, super worth it…. Nationwide insurance allows us to just be like, ‘Take care of the cat. Whatever needs to be done.’”

Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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