Cat spends night in sewer, wins 2022 Hambone Award®

A Seattle cat who survived a fur-ightful 45-foot tumble wins the 2022 Hambone Award. 

Rafa, a Siberian mix cat, escaped for an outdoor adventure that quickly turned frightening when he found himself trapped far down a drainpipe, sitting in neck-high icy water with a storm quickly approaching.

When Rafa’s family heard meows coming from the sewer grate, they immediately called for backup and soon had help from the fire department, animal rescue, Seattle Public Utilities, Roto-Rooter, and several dedicated neighbors digging and cutting into the pipe.

After a successful extraction and reunion with his family, Rafa was treated for severe hypothermia and other complications, spending a week in the ICU before making a full recovery.

Having Nationwide pet insurance helped Rafa’s pet parents, Jose and Susan, with decisions regarding the life-saving treatment Rafa required. “If we hadn’t had insurance, we would have had to consider every single measure and weigh it out,” Susan said. “In this case, we could just be like ‘No, throw the whole kitchen sink at this problem. Do whatever has to be done,’” she adds.

Nationwide®, the nation’s first and largest pet insurance provider, presents the award annually to honor the strangest and most hair-raising pet insurance claim of the year.  The Hambone Award® was originally named after a dog who ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator.