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Dana and Scott Carter of San Rafael, Calif., have always believed: what their seven-pound Himalayan cat, Ariel, lacks in size, she more than makes up for in personality. However, Ariel’s diminutive dimensions nearly cost her one of her nine lives last month as she was accidentally trapped underneath the Carter’s garage door. The terrifying incident resulted in an emergency trip to the animal hospital and earned Ariel the title of “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).
“Scott had been gardening on a Saturday afternoon and when he finished, he put the tools away and closed the garage,” explained Dana. “Within a minute or two of the garage door being closed, our neighbor called screaming for us to open it up because Ariel was trapped underneath and howling.”
Panicked, Scott quickly opened the garage door and brought Ariel inside the house where she proceeded to limp around, collapse, and limp around again. Fearing Ariel may have sustained internal bleeding or broken bones, the Carters rushed her to the animal hospital. After undergoing a series of X-rays and blood tests by the veterinarian, it was determined that Ariel had incurred damage to her liver as a result of the garage door’s pressure on her abdomen, and would need to be closely monitored overnight by the hospital staff.
The next day, the Carters received the happy news that their frisky feline was stable enough to be discharged from the hospital. In addition to feeling relieved that their cat would recover from the frightening ordeal, the Carters also felt fortunate that they opted for the Feline Select Plan from VPI when choosing medical coverage for Ariel.
“Despite the costly bill, we were able to maintain our composure knowing that we had recently signed both of our pets up for VPI Pet Insurance,” said Dana. “Within a week, we were extremely pleased to receive a check from VPI, which provided a significant reimbursement.”
Concerned that the sensor on their garage door didn’t prevent the accident from occurring, the Carters ran a few tests following Ariel’s injury. They found that the sensor was set to detect objects that are at least two feet off the ground, which enabled the door to come down and crush their petite but courageous cat. The other details of the unfortunate incident remain unanswered.
“We still don’t know how she got trapped underneath the garage door,” revealed Dana. “Our best guess is that Ariel was sitting under one of the cars in the garage and at the last second decided to make a break for it and run into the front yard. What we do know is that our beautiful, sweet Ariel is fully recovered and we’re all relieved she has eight lives left.”
“Ariel’s incident with the garage door shows the importance of being prepared for the unexpected when it comes to our pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Although it’s impossible for pet owners to monitor their pets at all times, steps should be taken to try to prevent even the rarest of accidents from occurring both inside and outside the home.”