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Protected by her guardian angel

When Andrea and her late husband, Graham, made an unplanned visit to an animal shelter, she was immediately drawn to a sweet, talkative cat named Minnow—but wound up going home without adopting her. Andrea was consumed with regret and called the next day, only to find that the domestic shorthair had already been adopted. Imagine her great surprise then, when Graham surprised her that evening with Minnow!

The sweet cat clearly means everything to Andrea, which is why she was so distressed when Minnow went missing.

“She’d been an indoor-outdoor cat in Charleston, South Carolina, but when we moved to Atlanta, I tried to make her an indoor cat. She clearly wanted to be an outdoor cat,” says Andrea. “She’d go out a little farther each day, but I never worried because she always came back.”

But when more and more time began to pass since Minnow had been home, Andrea did indeed begin to worry. Finally, Andrea and her now-wife, Elaine, decided to roll up their sleeves and start a search.

Minnow Domestic Short Hair Cat

“We were new to the neighborhood and I didn’t know anyone,” Andrea recalls. “Elaine crawled through all the woods and briars. I made flyers and posted them up and even went door to door. We also had a WhatsApp for our neighborhood, so I would post there to see if anyone had seen her.”

Three long weeks passed, and Minnow was still missing. Andrea and Elaine were getting desperate.

“I got in my car to go home, and I was in tears,” she says. “I started talking to myself, and then I started talking to Graham. I said, ‘All right, Graham. You brought Minnow home the first time. Now I need you to bring her home again.’

“The very next day, I’m throwing something in the trash can, and there’s Minnow at the back door! I was in complete shock.”

Minnow Domestic Short Hair Cat

Andrea immediately took Minnow to Midway Animal Hospital in Alpharetta, where she was diagnosed with starvation, dehydration and a broken rib. Given all that the little cat had been through, the veterinary staff was impressed by her quick recovery. Her 21-day journey and subsequent recovery has earned Minnow a nomination for the 2019 Nationwide Hambone Award, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.

“If you have an animal missing for a long time, they are going to have health problems when they get home. So, having insurance coverage is important,” says Andrea. “Having pet insurance is a great idea; Nationwide has been extremely helpful.”

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