The missing cat was discovered in the wreckage nine days after the tornado destroyed the office building.

A devastating tornado devastated Mayfield, Kentucky, in mid-December. Houses looked as if they’d been pulverized in a meat grinder, and Hoot Gibson doubted that the black cat that was supposed to visit their office would be discovered alive. The three-story house was in rubble, and no one had seen the cat since the tornado swept it down. Every day, Gibson and his family went back to the debris of the structure and dismantled it. They attempted to preserve everything they could and hoped to locate Madix, the cat, to locate her alive.

But as each day went by, their optimism faded.

A week has passed, and even if the cat survived the collapse of the home, she could not have survived without food and water for this long. On the ninth day, however, a miracle occurred. On his day off, Gibson was working among the ruins when he believed he heard a faint meow. He shouted Madix by name in bewilderment, and he heard a small whimper from beneath the rubble.

“My legs are weak, my chest is tight,” Gibson recalls. “I’m having a heart attack.” There was a strong want to rip the debris apart with a passion, but the guy was scared of harming the cat. He asked for help from other staff members, who also could listen to meows.

Finally, they discovered Madix, who was uninjured. The debris created a “pocket” where the cat spent the next nine days. Gibson returned home with the rescued cat. She drank a bowl of water and ate three cans of food. She was thin and terrified, but she did not appear to be harmed. The man took Madix to the vet the next day. And she started a new life with him, as his household cat. Finally, they discovered Madix, who was uninjured. The debris created a “pocket” where the cat spent the next nine days. Gibson returned home with the rescued cat. She drank a bowl of water and ate three cans of food. She was thin and terrified, but she did not appear to be harmed.

The man took Madix to the vet the next day. And she started a new life with him, as his household cat. Hugging Madix after the owner had given up hope that she would be lost forever was a true miracle, and Gibson was convinced that if cats have nine lifetimes, Madix had spent eight of them languishing under the debris.

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