News, deaths and damages in Florida and South Carolina

The man who rescued a cat while Ian, who was caught in a viral video, says he is looking for an owner for the cats

(Mary Beth Ross)

A local resident rescued a cat who was stuck, shivering and wet when Hurricane Ian hit the area.

Mike Ross, 29, was riding the tornado at his parents’ home in Bonita Beach, Florida, when his mother noticed a cat clinging to her dear life above the air conditioning unit.

“If we hadn’t looked in there and seen the cat right now, it would have definitely died,” Ross told CNN.

Ross knew he had to do whatever he could to save the cat.

“I thought, ‘This poor cat, if I don’t save her, she’s going to die,'” Ross said.

When he ventured to rescue cats, he encountered torrential waters.

“What people don’t think about are things that could be in the water, things like bricks and wood hitting my leg,” Ross said.

The cat was shivering, wet and scared, according to Ross. “Who knows how long he was in the water before he found the air conditioning unit,” he said.

Once he got the cat back, he put the cat in the bathroom to recover as he was still very terrified.

Ross and his parents stayed at Ross’ girlfriend’s house, but were able to go back and visit his house once.

“The air conditioner was gone, the house it was connected to is gone, and even my parents’ house, which was practically concrete, collapsed,” Ross said.

They are still actively looking for the cat’s owner, but area vets have yet to reopen their doors to check if the cat is fitted with an electronic chip.

They have posted on social media and are hoping the viral video of Ross rescuing the cat will reach the owner.

“If we can’t find the owner, we’ll keep him to ourselves and he’ll be part of my family,” Ross said.

The man decided that Ian would be an appropriate name for the cats, but they realized the cat was a female, so they could settle in Iania or Storm.

Half of the proceeds collected from the GoFundMe they created will go to the Naples Humane Society.

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