Veterinary Pet Insurance, based in California, said the 11 finalists for the Hambone Award, given annually to the strangest claims each year, includes Natasha, a 6-month-old kitten that took a ride in Oakland owner Daryl Humdy's washing machine along with a load of laundry, the Oakland Bee reported Friday.
"She had always been very nosy about the washing machine," Humdy said. "She would always peek inside it, but I never thought she would hop in."
Natasha, a Siberian forest cat, survived the ordeal with shock and hypothermia.
The company said Natasha was selected as this year's second place finisher, with first place going to a Massachusetts dog that ate an entire bag of onions and recovered from onion poisoning.
VPI spokesman Adam Fell said the Hambone Award is named for the case of a dog that consumed an entire Thanksgiving ham while locked inside a refrigerator.
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