A Bonita Springs man has stolen the hearts of thousands on social media after he was caught on video carrying a cat to safety from floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ian.
Mike Ross, who carried out the rescue, was captured rescuing an orange and white cat outside his parent’s home in Bonita Beach on Wednesday afternoon after seeking shelter from Hurricane Ian.
Speaking in an interview with The Washington Post, Mr Ross said how he noticed the “terrified” cat sitting outside and waded through floodwater to rescue the stricken animal.
He could be seen going outside to scoop the cat up and into his arms, before carrying the animal indoors to safety from rising floodwaters. The cat was clinging tightly to his chest.
His girlfriend, Megan Cruz Scavo, tweeted the footage with the caption: “My boyfriend saving a cat from flood waters near Bonita Beach.”
On Twitter, more than three million people have since watched the rescue, with many praising Mr Ross and others expressing their adoration for the Bonita Beach man widely described as “everyone’s boyfriend now”.
“I’m sorry, Megan, but he is everyone’s boyfriend now,” wrote one Twitter user. “ I don’t make the rules.”
“Absolute hero. Marry that man. Hope you all stay safe,” wrote another.
“That guy is a keeper … and the kitty, too!,” added a third person.
“I’m a happily married straight man and he’s my boyfriend now,” a forth person tweeted.
Mr Ross’s mother, Marybeth Ross, could meanwhile be heard saying in the background of the video: “Look at Michael saving the kitty. Awww.”
Writing in an update on Thursday, Ms Scavo said the couple were keeping the cat who was going to be renamed Ian after the near-Category 5 storm which she said had destroyed her house.
She tweeted: “Update on Hurricane Ian cat: He made it through (almost lost him to storm surge) & we are keeping him and naming him Ian. Our house unfortunately might be destroyed but we are safe”.