Giles the cat is Nationwide’s 2023 Hambone Award winner
Giles, a New York City cat, has been tapped as the 15th animal Hambone Award winner after being squished under a sofa bed by guests of his parents, Reid and Kaitlyn. The Hambone Award honors a Nationwide insured pet with the most unusual claim of the year with hopes the award will bring awareness to the unique, surprising events that can happen to pets and how insurance can help.
Giles was adopted from a cat rescue in New York and was named after a character from the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Giles's claim came to Nationwide after being accidentally trapped in a sofa bed when family stayed over. Though Giles was not seriously harmed and just needed a few stitches, he did develop a newfound fear of hinged objects.
"My stepmom said, 'Something has happened, and 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 bopped him in the face pretty good," explained Reid, in the organizational release.1 "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."
Giles is just one of 10 finalists who were part of a public vote that ran September 13-22, 2023, to help pick this year’s award winner. All 10 finalists have recovered and were reimbursed for eligible veterinary expenses from Nationwide.1 Because Giles was voted the winner, his family received the Hambone Award trophy, a gift card, and a donation to be made in Giles’ honor to the pet charity of their choice.
"Giles' predicament shows just how easily an ordinary situation can become precarious for a pet," said Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS, vice president, Pet Health and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide.1 "We're so glad that the quick actions of Giles' family and their veterinary care team set him up for a speedy recovery."
Two runners-up were announced, Jax, a pug from Las Vegas who had heat stroke while lying in a comforter as he recovered from surgery, and Sunny, a Labrador retriever from Anaheim who managed to move his crate 5 ft across the room and eat 3 phone charger cords. Each runner-up received a gift card and the opportunity for a donation to be made in their honor.
The Hambone Award was named after a dog, insured by Nationwide, who ended up stuck in the refrigerator and ate the entire holiday ham before being discovered with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hyperthermia.2