Amid all the devastation of the Florida condo collapse, there’s at least one spot of good news.
Binx, a black cat living on the ninth floor, not only survived last month’s Surfside collapse, but was found wandering in the rubble and has now been reunited with his family.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, who is co-founder of The Kitty Campus, which is taking care of displaced pets and posted about the lost cat after it was brought to the group’s facility July 8 by FEMA.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” Vlasek posted on Facebook. “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! We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way.”
Binx belongs to the Gonzalez family.
The family lived in 904 Champlain Towers South when he 12-storey building collapsed on June 24.
Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter, Deven, survived the ordeal. The fell when the building did. Angela broke her pelvis. Deven suffered serious injuries, but survived.
They were rescued on the fifth floor.
But Angela’s husband, Edgar Gonzalez, is still missing. Another daughter, Taylor, wasn’t home at the time of the collapse.
“Taylor Gonzales came to Kitty Campus accompanied by first responders from all over to see if the black cat we had was indeed the Gonzales families Binx,” the Kitty Campus posted. “As you all now know, the positive ID was made and the cat was returned to the family who had already lost so much.”
On Sunday, officials said the death toll had risen to 90. In total, 217 people have been accounted for and 31 more are potentially unaccounted for, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
“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 told reporters about Binx’s survival story.
For now, the Gonzalez family has at least something to hold on to.
“We are constantly being asked why we are not posting pictures the we took of the reunion with the family,” the Kitty Campus wrote. “Well the truth is we are respecting this families privacy. If and when the Gonzalez family want to tell their story they will. For now we will only share the cats story as a little inspiration and a glimmer of hope for our South Florida Community.”
Fire officials and other emergency workers are still on the ground trying to bring closure for more families.
Local and federal task force crews continue to work day and night at the collapse site of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside. As of today, 11,595 cubic yards of rubble has been removed from the site. pic.twitter.com/khYThll6wv— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) July 10, 2021
It is a painstaking process.
But nobody is willing to give up.
Capt. Tony Trim from #MDFR #FLTF1 takes us on a walkthrough of the Champlain Towers collapse site in Surfside and areas that help task force teams carry out their operations. pic.twitter.com/6i1JHNqfoD— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) July 10, 2021