SURFSIDE — Binx, a cat that lived on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South condo, was found safe two weeks after the building collapsed and has been reunited with his family.
The black cat was found near the rubble and was taken to Kitty Campus, an organization that cares for community cats in Miami Beach.
A volunteer feeding cats in the area was the one who found him, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference late Friday. Binx was reunited with his family Friday.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the life of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” Levine Cava said.
The mayor’s office earlier Friday had confirmed to the Miami Herald that a cat was found, but declined to provide more details out of respect to the family. The mayor declined to identify Binx’s family during the afternoon briefing.
Kitty Campus co-founder Gina Nicole Vlasek, who is also president of Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation, posted on Facebook about the miracle.
“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 you may know, pets are family, and this is a miracle ... That’s actually Deven’s cat, so I’m sure she’s going to be over the moon knowing that they found her cat,” Maria Gaspari, a friend of the family, told WSVN-Fox 7.
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. Edgar is still missing.
On Friday, the family’s verified GoFundMe page shared more positive news. Angela was awake and talking. Deven was starting to walk with a walker and could be released from the hospital soon. The page asked people to continue praying for Edgar “to come back to us.”
The collapse left at least 86 people dead and there may be 43 people still missing. Many were also concerned for the pets left behind.
Earlier this week, Levine Cava said rescue crews did everything possible to find and rescue pets, including going into condo units on Sunday to search for animals before the rest of the building was demolished. She said no pets were found.
Vlasek wrote on Facebook that finding Binx alive is a “reminder to use your energy for good things and good things only and you give the universe a path to present its miracles if you let it. Remember to never, ever, give up hope!!”
Miami Herald staff writer Ben Conarck contributed to this report.