A cat who miraculously survived the Surfside condo collapse has been reunited with his family.
During a press conference on Friday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shared Binx's touching story. The black feline lived on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South when the building came crashing down at 1:25 a.m. on June 24, killing at least 86 people with several residents still missing or unaccounted for.
“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 the June 9 press conference as reported by the Associated Press.
Cava said a volunteer feeding cats in the area found Binx near the rubble before it was taken to The Kitty Campus, an organization that cares for community cats in Miami Beach.
The Kitty Campus Co-founder Gina Nicole Vlasek posted about the heartwarming story on the organization’s Facebook page.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy… Today was one of the most amazing days… one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!” Vlasek wrote in the post. “We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way. These families lost so much but our south Florida communities team work was able to give them this. Thank you!
As the search for the condo’s residents continues, social media users are drawing optimism from Binx’s rescue and return.
“Keep praying everyone,” one commenter wrote on The Kitty Campus’ Facebook post. “Animals hide and sometimes survive even the worst disasters. Don't ever give up hope!”
Another user added, “It is wonderful to hear good news to come out of such a tragedy.”
Binx lived in unit 904, which belonged to Angela and Edgar Gonzalez, who lived in the building with their daughters, Deven and Tayler. Angela and Edgar were on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South with their daughter Deven, 16, when it fell.
Angela and Deven were among the first to be pulled from the rubble and were hospitalized. Tayler was not in the building at the time of the collapse, while Edgar is still missing.
When reunited with Binx, Tayler told the authorities that while she was shocked, she also wasn't surprised at the same time.
"A little bit of relief and shocked honestly," she said. "We already had a feeling if one of our animals were to make it, it would be him so we're not surprised either. Again, it has just been a very long journey in the past two weeks, but I am happy."
Through the tears, she added, "He needs a bath, that's what he needs."