Seattle cat in the running for National Hambone Award

Rafa suffered from hypothermia while trapped in the drain for several hours. Thanks to weeks of intensive care and pet insurance, he made a full recovery.

SEATTLE – A Seattle cat is racing for widespread recognition – the National Hambone Award.

The competition is entering its 14th year and raising awareness about the wild things that can happen to our pets and how pet insurance can help us take care of them.

Nationwide created the award in 2009 when the first recipient, a Jack Russell terrier, got stuck in a refrigerator with a whole ham. Fortunately, the dog was found alive, but only the hammer bone remained.

Rafa the cat went through a challenge earlier this year that got him into the race for the prize.

“Rafa is a good guy and acts like he’s completely invincible,” said one of his owners, Susan Sue.

Rafa sneaks out of the house while his men are preparing dinner. After searching, people found him trapped in the sewer pipe nearly 24 hours later.

“We were going for a walk calling his name and we were about to return home when I heard a faint meow and knew it was Rafa,” Sue said.

Sue and his partner Jose Montoro discovered their cat trapped in a sealed drain pipe encased in a sealed sewer grating.

“We thought Rafa must be inside the pipeline but we still couldn’t reach it so we had to make a call,” Sue said.

Seattle Fire Department, animal rescue, Seattle Public Utilities, Roto-Rooter and the help of several neighbors to free Rafa from the pipe. They had to clear the hill covered with blackberries and dig a pipeline two to three feet above the ground.

After hours of digging and planning, they were finally able to cut the pipe and get Rafa out.

Montoro was assisting in rescue efforts, and Rafa was eventually freed from the pipeline, which was running ice-cold water. “It is not good. Rafa has severe hypothermia, electrolyte imbalance, his blood sugar is really low,” he said.

The couple said veterinarians did not believe Rafa would make it through the night, but after several weeks of intensive care, Rafa made a full recovery and returned home in time to welcome the family’s first child. family, Satya.

The family said they are grateful to have pet insurance and hope the dramatic story will inspire other pet owners to have their animals covered.

The Scary Rescue Story was selected by Nationwide for the Hambone Awards featuring 13 other finalists. The grand prize winner will be revealed on October 19 and will receive the coveted Hambone trophy, a gift card and a $1,000 donation to a pet charity of their choice.

Voting for the Hambone Awards ends October 17. Vote for Rafa and read more stories on the Hambone Awards website. Seattle cat in the running for National Hambone Award

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