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"My roommate was loading his laundry and left the lid to the washing machine open while he went to the next room to grab more clothes," explained Daryl. "He came back, threw his clothes in, and shut the lid to the washing machine without realizing that Natasha had jumped into it while he had been away."
Natasha went through the full, 35-minute wash cycle. Daryl arrived home just as his roommate was pulling out his clothes to find a soaked and visibly shaken kitten. Shocked at what had just transpired, Daryl immediately rushed Natasha to the emergency animal hospital.
"I knew I had to make a quick decision," said Daryl. "Natasha was shaking and crying. I knew she was frightened, and I was frightened for her."
At the hospital, Natasha was treated for hypothermia and shock, but was very fortunate to escape the scary ordeal without receiving any broken bones or other, more serious injuries. The veterinarian even praised Natasha as the most pleasant-smelling pet they had ever treated. Natasha has since made a full recovery and is as active as ever around the house – except when she's near the laundry room.
"Since I brought Natasha home as a newborn kitten, she had always been very curious about the washing machine," explained Daryl. "She would always take a peek inside, but I never thought she would jump in. My roommate and I are much more cautious around the house now, because we would hate for her to have to go through something like that again."
Resolved to spend whatever amount of money it took to ensure his frisky feline would pull through the terrifying ordeal, Daryl was appreciative that his employer, Zynga Inc., is one of the more than 3,000 organizations and associations nationwide to offer
"I am very thankful that Zynga offers
"Natasha's ordeal shows the importance of pet-proofing your home for kittens and puppies," said
Fortunately, in this instance, curiosity did not kill the cat. Natasha's incident was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of December by VPI, the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, and was selected by VPI employees as the most unusual of the bunch. Honorable mentions in December included a blue heeler canine that sustained blunt trauma after being chased down and kicked by a mule, a poodle that was hit by a bicycle, and a St. Bernard that ingested a holiday ornament. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.
As the most unusual claim submitted in December, Natasha will be in the running for the 2013 VPI Hambone Award. Other nominees include Chance the Labrador retriever who was butted by a goat, Ariel the Himalayan kitten who was trapped underneath her pet parent's garage door, and Annie the Yorkshire terrier that was stranded outdoors during one of the worst storms in North American history. For more information about the VPI Hambone Award, or to read about all of the 2013 nominees, visit www.VPIHamboneAward.com.
About VPI Hambone Award
The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire
With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide,