Floridians braced themselves as the category 4 storm battered its way through the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, with winds up to 150 m.p.h.
But the flooding rain didn't phase the good Samaritan wearing a T-shirt and shorts as he rescued the terrified cat stranded out in the fierce elements.
The man–identified as 29-year-old Mike Ross from Bonita Springs–was filmed trudging his way in knee-deep waves and rushing water, climbing the air conditioning unit and gently scooping the stranded cat into his arms. The cat clung to him and occasionally looked toward the camera.
Ross' girlfriend, Megan Cruz Scavo—who shared the video on Twitter—wrote:
“My boyfriend saving a cat from flood waters near Bonita Beach."
The video has gone viral.
Ross evacuated to his parent's residence—a "fortress" designed to weather hurricanes—because his own home was “10 ft underwater.”
He looked out a window and spotted the helpless cat around 2 p.m. and rushed outside to get it. His mother Marybeth Ross filmed the rescue.
She can be heard in the video saying:
“Look at Michael saving the kitty. Awww!”
Is Florida Man going through a re-branding?
Ross may be taken, but it's not stopping the internet from swooning.
According to Yale Climate Connections:
"Storm surge flooding in southwest Florida from Ian will transcend anything observed in the last few decades, perhaps challenging or even topping the living-memory records set during Hurricane Donna in 1960."
Concerted rescue efforts for Floridians were made elsewhere as the catastrophic storm battered its way along the state's southwest coast.
Cape Coral City Manager Rob Hernandez told TODAY:
“The minute that the winds subside to below 45 miles an hour our crews are going to be responding out there clearing the roads to make sure that our first responders can get to those individuals that are trapped in their homes and in their vehicles."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference:
“We had all these power workers, these line workers from all these different states. I saw them from Texas, Louisiana."
Ross and Scavo have since named the cat Ian.
They started a fundraising campaign to help raise money for their home damaged by the hurricane.
“We are a young couple in Naples, FL raising money to help restore our home–which suffered terrible damage–and the homes of others after the devastation seen from Hurricane Ian.”
They intend to allocate half of the donations to their local animal rescue charity.
“In honor of Ian, and all people and pets affected, we are donating half of the proceeds raised by this to the Naples Humane Society."