"Binx, a cat living on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South, was recently found near the site, and a few hours ago he was reunited with his family," updated Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
After the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South, the beachside condo at 8777 Collins Avenue, Florida, on June 24, there has been a lot of bad news about the number of deaths and missing people, but a cat who had been missing since the collapse has finally been reunited with his family after two whole weeks, according to PEOPLE.
During a press conference, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that the feline named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the building, was found while workers on the scene were sorting through the rubble to locate more missing individuals. "After 16 long and extremely difficult days, I'm happy to be able to share a small piece of good news," Levine Cava told reporters. "Binx, a cat living on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South, was recently found near the site, and a few hours ago he was reunited with his family."
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart and all of us, who are so happy to have played a role in returning Binx with his family," she added. "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."
After 16 long and incredibly difficult days, I’m able to share a small piece of good news — Binx from Champlain Towers South has been found.— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) July 10, 2021
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of our community to the team who played a role in reuniting him with his family. pic.twitter.com/yzDxW6plHG
On Friday, 9 July, Gina Nicole Vlasek co-founder of Florida animal shelter, The Kitty Campus, shared via a Facebook post that a black cat that matches Binx's description was brought to the organization by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the night before.
"A black cat resembling Binx from #904 was brought to our facility last night by FEMA. Authorities from all over have been in and out of our Miami Beach office since last night. The Cat was found near the rubble! 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 family's cat and IT WAS!"
"We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way. These families lost so much but our south Florida communities teamwork was able to give them this. Thank you! Remember 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!!"
Levine Cava previously revealed that officials put in extensive efforts to find missing pets before the rest of the condo was demolished, during an interview with The Miami Herald. "They were, at great risk to themselves, searching inside those units that had been indicated that might have pets and searching very thoroughly," Levine Cava said.
"Doorways were opened, other means for the pets to escape the building if they were able."
The unit that Binx lived in belonged to Angela and Edgar Gonzalez, who lived in the building with their daughters, Devon and Taylor, and their dog, Daisy. Angela is the mother who was determined to save her daughter Devon when the building collapsed, even though she had a broken pelvis. The oldest daughter, Taylor, was not at home during the time, and the father, Edgar, is still unaccounted for.
According to the latest numbers, Levine Cava noted that the official death toll from the condo collapse has now gone up to 86, with 62 victims identified and 61 next-of-kin notifications made (at the time of publication).
Overall, 211 people have been accounted for while 43 others remain "potentially unaccounted for," Cava continued, adding that the numbers will likely continue to change now that search-and-rescue efforts have transitioned into a recovery mission.
Cover image (Representative): Getty Images | Photo by Okssi68