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Florida man saves cat as Hurricane Ian floodwaters rise

A Florida man is being celebrated after he saved a stranded cat from the wrath of Hurricane Ian.

A scary looking cat with orange and white fur was sitting on top of a mounted air conditioning unit as a steady stream of water ran under it. Mike Ross, 29, saw the frightened feline from a window and immediately ran off.

Ross, who lives in Bonita Springs in southwest Florida, had evacuated to her parents’ nearby home to take shelter from the storm. Her house was “10 feet under water” and her parents have a “fortress” built to withstand hurricanes, she said.

As he looked outside, he was surprised to see a cat sitting there alone. She couldn’t imagine leaving him to her own devices.

This cat was found stranded near Bonita Beach, Florida. (Video: Marybeth Ross)

“The storm surge had picked up quite a bit at that point,” Ross recalled, adding that the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m., shortly before the Category 4 hurricane made landfall in southwest Florida with 150mph winds.

Having lived in the area all his life, he is familiar with hurricanes, but said this one is “absolutely terrible.”

The cat, Ross said, seemed “terrified.”

Knee-deep in water, Ross walked toward the cat, pushing against the powerful current. Once he was close enough, he picked up the abandoned animal and held it tightly against his chest as he pulled it to safety.

Power outages top 1 million as Category 4 storm heads inland

Ross’s mother, Marybeth Ross, captured the rescue on camera. In the background of the video, she can be heard commenting, “Look at Michael saving the kitten. Awww.”

Ross’s girlfriend shared the clip on Twitter, and the internet quickly took notice. The video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times and breathless comments have been received.

“Absolute hero. Mary that man. I hope everyone is safe.” one person commented.

“I’m crying my eyes out” another wrote.

“I’m sorry Megan, but he’s everyone’s boyfriend now.” someone tweeted.

People also shared similar cat rescue stories: “Hurricane cats are an old Florida tradition. We picked ours up a couple of years ago during Irma. I can’t imagine this house without the tripod.” one person commentedsharing a photo of a cat.

While most people praised the Ross rescue effort (the most common comment is: “Marry him.”), others expressed concern about the many animals that might not make it out of the storm alive.

“This kitten was saved, but I dare not think how many others will not be,” one person tweeted. “It breaks my heart.”

Ross, who works as a consultant for a software company, said he shares the same fear. Still, he is relieved that at least one stranded pet is now safe and sound.

The cat is currently sheltering with Ross and his family, and the plan is to keep him if they can’t find his owners.

Meanwhile, your new furry friend has a roof over his head and a loving home.

Most importantly, the cat “looks healthy,” Ross said.

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