The grief-stricken family members of the victims of Florida condo collapse were in for a surprise when a cat that lived on the ninth floor of the building was found alive two weeks after the tragic fall.
The skinny black feline Binx belonged to the Gonzalez family that lived in the unit number 904. It was found near the rubble of Champlain Towers South in Surfside on the night of July 8. Not knowing whom it belonged to, the cat was taken to the rescue group Kitty Campus.
Cat Reunites With Family
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that Binx was recognized by a volunteer who had been feeding cats near the collapsed building. Currently, the cat has been reunited with the Gonzalez family.
Angela Gonzalez and her daughter Deven were successfully pulled from the rubble and were hospitalized. Deven's older sister Tayler Gonzalez escaped the fall as she was not home during the collapse. But Deven's father Edgar Gonzalez is still missing, reported Miami Herald.
Speaking to New York Post, Maria Gaspari, a friend of the Gonzalez family said: "Pets are family, and this is a miracle. In the middle of this sadness, we were hoping for good news either for any survivors or any pet," Gaspari said.
"That's actually Deven's cat, so I'm sure she's going to be over the moon knowing that they found her cat. I just can't believe it. I just couldn't believe it when we received the confirmation. This is a miracle for the whole Surfside community," Gaspari added.
Kitty Campus co-founder Gina Nicole Vlasek said in Facebook post that what people need is a ray of hope. "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.
Death Toll Rises
In fact, five days ago, Attorney Paula Phillips filed a request in Miami-Dade Circuit on behalf of Stacey Karron, a paralegal and animal rescue to enter the doomed building to save the animal. The pet is assumed to be a cat named Coco, who lived in a fourth-floor unit with an 89-year-old woman and her daughter. But the court refused to give permission and the building was razed.
The Florida building collapsed on June 24. After 16 days, the death toll has risen to 79. It is said that 61 people still missing. The search to recover bodies is on. At least 15 victims were discovered in one day. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called this discovery heartbreaking. She also said that recovery workers were moving forward with great urgency, to find the missing persons so that they can give a closure to the family members of the missing persons.