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Refrigerator Incident Leaves Curious Cat in Stitches

On the first day of a weeklong vacation, Kayla Hildebrandt and her fiancé, Matt Zeigler, of Irvine, Calif., received the news that no pet owner wants to hear: their Siamese cat, Pippa, had been rushed to the emergency animal hospital. They were informed that Pippa was having trouble breathing after becoming wedged behind the refrigerator in their apartment. Luckily, Kayla and Matt’s pet sitter arrived in time to save the fortunate feline’s life. After surviving the scary incident and receiving several stitches in the process, Pippa earned the title of May’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

“We suspect Pippa was climbing on top of the refrigerator and fell off the back of it,” explained Kayla. “She was pinned against the wall and the metal backing of the fridge. Since there was no room to squeeze out from either side, Pippa panicked and tried to get out by going through the back casing of the fridge.”

During the ordeal, Pippa got her leg and foot caught up in the electrical wires, cutting off her circulation. Pippa also received lacerations to her back while trying to squeeze through the metal portion of the refrigerator.

“Our pet sitter, Rachel, walked in our apartment to check on Pippa and heard faint cries and meows for help,” said Kayla. “She realized Pippa was behind the refrigerator and it took all of her energy to move the fridge out from the wall to unveil the horrific scene. Pippa was found barely breathing and wounded in many areas of her body.”

Despite moving the refrigerator, Rachel still couldn’t pull Pippa out from the back casing of the refrigerator so she ran to get help. Minutes later, the apartment complex’s maintenance crew arrived and cut the metal in the back of the refrigerator open to finally release the worn-out and injured feline. Rachel then rushed Pippa to the emergency animal hospital for treatment.

“The emergency veterinarian called us and we were told Pippa was in pretty bad shape,” explained Kayla. “She received stitches for severe lacerations to both her foot and back. Fortunately, she received necessary treatment from the attending veterinarian and made a full recovery. We’re thankful to everyone who acted quickly and didn’t waste any time before getting her to the emergency animal hospital.”

“Cats are curious by nature and can wind up in a variety of potentially dangerous places,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “To avoid incidents like Pippa’s, it’s important for pet owners to pet-proof their home to ensure their dog or cat is unable to access hazardous areas of the house.”

Although Kayla and Matt weren’t able to have as relaxing of a vacation as they would have hoped following Pippa’s petrifying incident, they were relieved that their apartment complex management replaced the refrigerator free of charge. In addition, Kayla and Matt were very thankful to receive a reimbursement for 99 percent of the claimed amount from VPI Pet Insurance.

“Pet insurance is great for unexpected situations like this,” said Kayla. “Without pet insurance Pippa’s mishap would have been much more expensive.”

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