Daredevil kitty, daring vet first nominees for new Hambone Award competition

We’re still working behind the scenes to announce which veterinary practice will be awarded a $10,000 grant from Nationwide to help pets whose owners can’t afford the life-saving care pet insurance made possible for the winner. Voting closed last week for the 2015 Hambone Award.

While we get all the pieces in place to make the announcement and hand out the awards, we’re already starting the new Hambone Competition with a fresh batch of nominees, led by this month’s, a daredevil kitty named after a super-hero. From our Hambone Nation blog:

StarkMan-CollageLast year, Chris and Sheena Villarraga of Naples, Fla., rescued a tiny 6-week-old kitten. As avid fans of the Iron Man series, they settled on the name Stark, after the main character Tony Stark. The rambunctious kitty has lived up to his name and proven his intelligence by learning how to open doors, and has shown his rebelliousness by destroying several phone and computer chargers. However, Stark took his character a little too far after he attempted to fly off his cat tree and ended up hanging by his tail from a set of window blinds. Stark’s dangerous dangle and relieving recovery have earned him the title of August’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

For bringing Stark back to top super-hero form, the Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital in Naples is the first of a dozen nominees that will be eligible to win a grant from Nationwide in next year’s voting.