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Things Get Complicated in the Case of Bart the “Zombie Cat”

Disputes over care and fundraising show that things might be easier if Bart were a real zombie.

Chris Hall  |  Feb 3rd 2015


The whole matter of Bart the “zombie cat” might be easier to figure out if Bart actually were a zombie cat. Though the walking dead may be an inconvenience, you at least know where you stand with them: They want to eat your brain. To stop them doing that, you have to shoot them through what’s left of their brains. It’s a simple, honest relationship with no pretentions or BS.

The fact that Bart the cat has his own page on Snopes, barely a week after he became famous, should be an immediate clue that the situation promises to be much more complicated than just another undead flesh-eating feline. Since Michael Leaverton first told the story of Bart’s return from beyond, the matter of who will take over Bart’s care has become a rather contentious issue. As of now, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay doesn’t want to return Bart to his owners. Executive Director Sherry Silk told the Huffington Post, “I met with the owner for about 40 minutes. I told him at that time some things had come to light that I was really uncomfortable with.”

What are those things? Well, there are several. First, there’s a video on YouTube that supposedly shows Bart shortly after he came back from the dead. As the camera pans over Bart in a cage, one of the people gathering around him says, “He might not have been dead. ‘Cause when I found him ÔǪ he was moving and stuff.”

That’s a relatively small thing, of course, and isn’t enough to prove that there’s wrongdoing afoot in Bart’s case. Nevertheless, Silk is unsure whether Ellis Hutson and his family can properly take care of Bart.

“If somebody tells you the cat is still breathing and it’s alive, the cat shouldn’t have been buried,” Silk told ABC News this week. “I don’t know if it was purposeful, but we are not going to return the cat to him.”

She also is worried about Bart’s exposure to the Hutson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“She’s a typical 2-year old,” Silk said. “We want a home with no young children that could put him in jeopardy.”

But of even bigger concern to many is the money that’s been raised from a GoFundMe page created by the Hutson’s neighbor, Dusty Albritton. As of Friday, the Humane Society reported that it hadn’t received any money from the crowdfunding, even though GoFundMe had raised more than $7,000. Albritton told ABC News she wouldn’t give the money to the Humane Society because she believed that Silk was turning Bart into a “cash cat” and that the money collected wouldn’t go solely to his care.

“People are being misled thinking it’s only for Bart and his expenses,” she said in the ABC piece.

For their part, the Humane Society says that all of Bart’s expenses have already been paid by the group’s emergency medical fund. Silk maintains, however, that the environment at the Hutson home is unsuitable for his health.

“If it’s a legal issue, and it could be, we may very well lose,” she told The Huffington Post. “But we’re going to fight to do what we think is right for this cat.”

As if the tension between the Humane Society, the original owners, and the neighbors weren’t bad enough, the publicity has helped to create yet another layer of weirdness. Over the weekend, the Humane Society received a call from someone saying that they would “storm” the facility and take Bart by force. As of yet, there is no indication that the call came from the Hutsons or the Albrittons, or that either party is connected in any way. Staff members have been told that if anyone breaks in, they are to allow them to take Bart without resistance.

An actual zombie cat would have made everything so much simpler.

Via The Huffington Post and ABC Action News

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