A Turkish firefighter helped rescue a cat from the rubble of a collapsed building after the recent deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, and it hasn't left his side since. The 33-year-old Ali Cakas, who goes by the handle @jcaks_1 on Instagram, has won the hearts of people worldwide after adopting a cat he saved from under the rubble of a collapsed apartment block after being trapped for 129 hours.
The video and pictures of the rescue have gone viral on social media, showing a firefighter wearing a bicycle helmet and goggles with a black and white cat on his shoulder. Cakas is a member of Turkey's national mountain bike team.
He rescued the cat following the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, and it later refused to leave Cakas.
According to the news sources, the cat continued to follow him as he searched for other survivors in Nurdagi, in the Gaziantep province of eastern Turkey. While hoping for its rightful owner to show up, Cakas and his colleagues named it ‘Enkaz’ – the Turkish word for rubble.
Later, the local Turkish news reported that Enkaz's owner had died in the earthquake.
Cakas also posted pictures and videos of the cat amid his rescue work, which have been viewed more than a million times on Twitter and Instagram.
His Instagram account has gained over 25k followers, with many praising his gesture and for adopting the cat.
An Instagram user @ sugarmagterrapin commented on the post: "You and kitty are my phone screensaver now! It gives me such joy every time I see the pic! Bravo mate!
"This will be your most faithful companion. Gratitude is part of the lives of the rescued animals. This pure love of pets is too beautiful," says karine_fsa, an Instagram user. People around the world applaud him for his effort and kind gesture.
Another Instagram user who goes by the handle @melinda_2122 wrote: "I'm from Brazil, and we are already learning about your history here. It is Beautiful."
This feel-good story went viral amid the desperation and sadness caused by the earthquake, which has claimed 47,000 lives so far.