Cat Missing in Surfside Condo Collapse Found Alive, Reunited with Grieving Family
“A bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy.”
Our four-legged friends continue to provide a glimmer of hope as recovery efforts in Miami stretch on.
After weeks in the rubble of the Surfside condo collapse, a chatty cat named Binx was reunited with his family Friday.
Animal rescue volunteer Miranda Peralez told WSVN that she first spotted the skinny black cat in the wreckage of Champlain Towers South more than a week ago.
"He was too nice to be a stray cat," she recalled.
A few days later, it occurred to Peralez that he could be a survivor of the collapse. Using photos shared on social media, she was able to identify him as Binx, a cat from the ninth floor of the partially collapsed condo.
Friendly and talkative, Binx proved easy to wrangle. He was brought to the Kitty Campus animal shelter, but he had no intention of staying.
"We just tried to keep him close by, but he kept running back to the site," Peralez told WSVN. "He didn't want to leave."
Fortunately, they were able to keep him contained long enough for a family member to claim him on Friday.
Cameras rolled as Tayler Gonzalez, who wasn't home at the time of the collapse, collected her family cat.
"Honestly, I'm kind of shocked, but we already had a feeling that, if one of our animals were to make it, it would be him, so we're not surprised, either," said Tayler. "I'm happy. It's just been a very long journey in the past two weeks."
Taylor's mother Angela and her 16-year-old sister Deven survived a fall to the fifth floor when the condo building collapsed in the early hours of June 24. They were amongst the first to be pulled from the rubble and remain at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The body of Taylor's father Edgar was recovered on Sunday. (A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Gonzalez family.)
WATCH: Team of Golden Retrievers Arrives in Surfside to Comfort First Responders
The reunion has been a boon for the Gonzalez family and the entire community still reeling from the unthinkable tragedy.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava mentioned Binx in a press conference on Friday.
"I'm glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy," she said.
We are keeping these brave heroes and the families who've lost loved ones in our hearts and our prayers.