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“Zombie Cat” Named Bart Turns Up Days After Being Buried

The resilient cat cheated death by digging himself out of his grave; he's on the road to recovery.

Michael Leaverton  |  Jan 29th 2015


It is to the great shame of our civilization that even at this late date of 2015 we still attempt to bury people who aren’t yet completely dead, and then they have to wake themselves up and halt all funeral proceedings, or get themselves out of the morgue, before any more harm can come to them.

This weekend, someone did it to a cat, and that person even got the cat in the ground before the kitty, named Bart, collected his wits and got himself the hell out the there.

Bart did this by clawing and fighting his way to the surface of the earth. God almighty, what a sight that must have been. We don’t know how long he was buried, but it was five days before he turned up.

Bart’s owner, Ellis Hutson, is to blame for the tragedy, but it’s hard to fault him. He really did think his cat was dead, since he found the poor thing in the middle of the road in a pool of blood, unmoving. He was beside himself, bereft. He did what he thought was right. He staged a small ceremony and had his close friend bury Bart.

“We were so close, I couldn’t stand to bury him,” Hutson told ABC News. “I put him on the shoulder of the road and went and got David. He dug a hole and covered up the cat with dirt. I witnessed him bury the cat.”

And then, of course, you know the story: Bart wakes up and begins the long march back to the living, one centimeter of dirt at a time. He crawled out of his hole, then made his way to Hutson’s neighbor, who took the cat over to Hutson.

“I open the door and my neighbor is standing there with the cat in her hand,” Hutson said. “She said, ‘Bart is not dead.’ I said, ‘That’s impossible. We buried Bart.'”

“This is unbelievable. I don’t have any explanation for it,” Hutson said.

Remarkably, Hutson’s neighbor says that Bart showed no signs of pain, even though he looked horrible due to his injuries from the car. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Humane Society stepped in and got Bart the care he needed. He quickly underwent a successful surgery to repair a broken jaw and remove his damaged eye, and then Wednesday he had a blood transfusion, since he was anemic. Another cat at the shelter was the donor.

The doctors said that Bart was “purring like crazy” during he transfusion.

Here are more pictures of the surgery and the transfusion:

There are those, of course, who say Bart is a zombie cat, and if you are one of those people, I need you to cock your head and listen up, for I have some news for you: There are no such things as zombie cats.

Deal with that.

Hutson’s neighbor has an alternate explanation, and it might be reaching a bit, but give her a break, she lives next door to a zombie cat.

“The only thing I can think of is that this is God’s miracle. And I thought, why five days later? If Bart was alive before, he would have come to our homes earlier,” she told ABC News. “All I can think of is that God created animal life on the fifth day.”

We’re hopeful that Bart continues his recovery and is going to be OK, and let’s put the word out: No more burying Bart. No more burying anyone who is not completely dead. We can do this.

Via ABC News; photos via the Tampa Bay Humane Society

UPDATE: There are new developments in Bart’s case, including disputes over a fundraising campaign and questions about the level of care Bart was getting at home — and whether he’ll go back there. Read more here.

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