Weeks after a Florida condo building crashed to the ground, an unlikely survivor has emerged: Binx the cat.
In a “small piece of good news” amid the devastation, Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, has been reunited with its family, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a grieving family today and could provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” Levine Cava said.
In a tweet, Levine Cava offered a “thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of our community to the team who played a role in reuniting him with his family.”
A volunteer who had been feeding cats near the collapse site found the black cat wandering the area before bringing him to a Miami Beach rescue center.
The cat was found near the rubble Thursday, Gina Nicole Vlasek, co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue center, posted on Facebook. A former condo resident visited The Kitty Campus on Friday and confirmed the furry survivor was hers, Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” the post said. “Today was one of the most amazing days.”
The wandering feline belongs to the Gonzalez family, WSVN-TV reported. Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter, Deven, were among those rescued from the wreckage early in the search for survivors.
Both mother and daughter were seriously injured when they fell from the 9th floor to the 5th floor of the building, according to their verified GoFundMe page. Despite her injuries, Angela pulled her daughter from the rubble. Angela’s husband and Deven’s father, Edgar Gonzalez, remains unaccounted for.
“Pets are family, and this is a miracle,” Maria Gaspari, a friend of the feline’s family told WSVN.
“I’m shaking right now,” she added. “In the middle of this sadness, we were hoping for good news either for any survivors or any pet.”
The Friends of Miami Animals Foundation set up a hotline for survivors to report missing pets or ask for medical assistance and boarding for their animals. Parakeets, cats, a guinea pig and a dog are among those officially reported missing as survivors desperately search for signs of their pets.
Animal control workers are placing live traps in the area to help find pets that might have escaped the collapse, Levine Cava said.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Katherine Lewin, Florida Times-Union