Madix lived as an office cat in Mayfield, Kentucky, residing in a three-story building in the downtown area. Late Friday, December 10, the “most deadly tornado event in Kentucky’s history,” as the Governor described it, hit Mayfield, one of the hardest-hit cities in the state.
Nearby, a candle factory’s roof collapsed, killing at least eight people where 110 people were working. Everywhere, there was rubble and wreckage as far as the eye could see.
“The devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen in my life,” Gov. Beshear said. “It will be a miracle if anyone else is found alive.”
Nine days after the tornado, Sonny’ Hoot’ Gibson stood in the rubble of the rental business where the black cat with yellow eyes often greeted customers. It was Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t know how anything could’ve survived not just the tornado but the destruction that came along with it,” Gibson said.
Then, he heard a very faint meowing sound.
Video of Mayfield from WBNS 10TV:
Madix Found in the Rubble
At first, Gibson thought he must be imagining things.
“I thought I heard a meow, and I thought my mind’s playing tricks on me so I hollered his name out, and he meowed again,” Gibson said.
Suddenly, he was filled with hope, searching the rubble for the cat no one had seen since the tornado. However, he couldn’t find Madix, so he called employees to see if they would help find him. Then, they found the cat hiding in a hole under the rubble.
Amazingly, the cat was ok, aside from being hungry and thirsty. Gibson held him, marveling at the black cat’s luck and 9 lives.
“It was just an incredible feeling to put him in my arms,” Gibson said. “If cats actually have nine lives, he probably used up about eight of them in that nine-day period.”
Soon, word got around Mayfield that the familiar office kitty was alive and well. The cat’s story is a ray of hope as the town recovers from a time of darkness.
“It’s a blessing for people to hear the story so they can take that and realize that great things can come out of terrible situations. If it’s uplifting to one person, then Madix has served his purpose on this planet,” Gibson said.
From now on, Madix will live out his days as a house cat.
Humane Society Rescues Cats in Kentucky
After the tornado, the Humane Society responded, searching for surviving animals in Mayfield and many other devastated areas. After capturing the cats and other pets, they transported them to shelters to be reunited with their humans wherever possible.
According to WHAS11, rescuers saved eight cats and 41 dogs in Mayfield and Hopkins Counties, relocating them to an emergency hub in Louisville.
Video from the Humane Society of the United States:
Images: Screenshot via YouTube with Madix by Sonny “Hoot” Gibson via AP