Sphynx Cat's Armchair Stakeout Crushed by Recliner Wreck

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Selects Most Unusual November Claim

Brea, Calif. (Dec. 23, 2015) - For Karina Salinas of Bee Cave TX., finding a family pet was a challenge. Her love for animals was secondary to her daughter’s asthmatic condition, which restricted them from owning any pets with fur. After a bit of research, Karina made the decision to bring home a hairless Sphynx cat, naming her Rosie. Since that fateful day, Rosie has provided the family with incalculable amounts of happiness countered with a many moments of rebelliousness. In fact, her mischief nearly caused her demise after she hid inside a reclining chair and was crushed upon its close. Rosie’s memorable misfortune and heartening recovery have earned her the title of November’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

Rosie’s armchair entrapment couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time with Karina and her oldest daughter scheduled to fly to Athens, Greece the next morning for vacation. That day, Karina had come home early from work in order to pack and prepare the family’s luggage for the long flight.

“Rosie hates when we’re gone,” said Karina. “She must have had a sense that we were leaving, because she followed me around all afternoon, begging for attention. I gave her as much love as I could, but I had a lot to do.”

After hours of travel preparations, Karina decided to take a break before her daughter returned home from swim practice. It also gave her a chance to spend time with Rosie before the trip. Karina took a seat in the living room on a reclining chair as she routinely does and called the whiny feline over to lie on her lap.

“I yelled for Rosie, but got no response,” said Karina. “It was weird because she had been so attached all day and I was in her favorite spot, but she was nowhere to be found. She likes to hide so I figured she was just in another room. I had no idea she was so close.”

A moment later, Katrina’s daughter walked through the front door and she arose to greet her, but as the chair returned from the reclining position, she heard a terrifying cry. Rosie had been hiding inside the recliner the whole time and was now folded up inside the chair. Katrina sprung into action and opened the chair immediately, but the fearful Sphynx was trapped inside.

“Everything happened so quickly,” said Karina. “Rosie has never gone inside the chair before so it never even crossed my mind that she would be in there. I tried to get her out, but she was stuck. Her cries were horrifying and I thought she was seriously injured.”

Karina and her daughter struggled to free Rosie, but she was out of their reach. Finally, after moments of panic, Rosie was able to wiggle herself out and walk away out from underneath the chair under her own power, but the ordeal was far from over. Rosie was covered with deep bruises and was having trouble with her balance.

“When she got out she looked awful and I knew she needed medical help,” said Karina. “Everything was so traumatic. I was crying the whole way to the hospital. We thought she had suffered a serious injury and we just wanted her to be okay.”

Karina rushed Rosie to Austin Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center for treatment. After a quick explanation of the incident, the veterinary staff conducted multiple tests and feared that Rosie’s lungs could be damaged. Luckily, the results of the X-rays and blood work revealed only minor injuries. Rosie was sent home with medication and antibiotics for small cuts.

“Rosie’s story is a reminder that pet accidents can happen at the worst possible times and that it’s important to have an emergency plan,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer for Nationwide. “I commend Rosie’s owners for putting their vacation plans on hold to ensure their feline family member received the medical care she needed.”

After Rosie was released from the hospital, the Karina and her daughter left Rosie with the rest of the family and proceeded with their vacation. Since the incident, Rosie has made a full recovery, and has refrained from getting herself into anymore hiding mishaps. Karina is relieved that her four-legged companion is back to full health and couldn’t be happier with the veterinarian’s work and the support she received from Nationwide.

“I’m just glad that the situation had a happy ending,” said Karina. “The veterinarians were so thoughtful and the insurance support we received was wonderful. Our pets are part of the family and having Nationwide ensures that we’ll always be able to get them the medical care they need.”

As the most unusual claim submitted in November, Rosie will be in the running for the 2016 Hambone Award. Rosie’s incident was one of more than 103,000 pet insurance claims received in the month of November by Nationwide, and was selected by Nationwide employees as the most unusual of them all. Honorable mentions in November include a cat that suffered from zinc poisoning after swallowing seven pennies, a puppy that was hit by a golf cart and a dog that broke his teeth after running into a patio with a Frisbee in his mouth! All pets considered for the Hambone Award have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

Note to editors: Digital images of Rosie are available upon request. Please send requests to rwhittington@petinsurance.com.

About Hambone Award

The Hambone Award is named in honor of a Nationwide-insured dog who got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to rescue him. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. This quirky title was first awarded in 2009 to Lulu, a hungry English bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and a piece of a basketball. The Hambone Award and these unusual pet insurance claims have since helped educate the public about the unexpected mishaps that can affect household pets. Stories and pictures of the Hambone Award nominees are available at HamboneAward.com.

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 550,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. 

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on  Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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