A cat in Florida that was hit by a car and then buried is apparently back from the dead.
“I was so shocked,” owner Ellis Hutson told ABC News. “I didn’t know really what to do.”
And today, Bart the cat is having surgery at the Humane Society to repair his jaw and remove his eye.
“We have seen many amazing cases at our full-service veterinary clinic, but this situation may take the cake,” the Humane Society of Tampa said on its website.
The cat’s owner, Hutson, 52, said he found Bart the cat two weeks ago in the middle of the road, lifeless in a puddle of blood.
Hutson said he asked his friend to help bury the 23-month old cat, because the landscaper was so distraught after losing a companion he’s had since he was a kitten.
“We were so close, I couldn’t stand to bury him,” Hutson said. “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.”
Five days later, the cat showed up in a neighbor’s yard alive, but weak, dehydrated and in need of medical attention.
“I open the door and my neighbor’s standing there with the cat in her hand,” Hutson said. “She said, ‘Bart is not dead.’ I said, ‘That’s impossible. We buried Bart.'”
Bart has been treated for a broken jaw, open facial wounds and a ruined eye. The Humane Society veterinarians expect him to recover and be able to return home after recovering a couple days.
“This is unbelievable. I don’t have any explanation for it,” Hutson said.
Hutson said he will pay for the surgery costs for the cat. The total cost for the care of Bart, including today’s surgery and post-operative care, will be around $2,000, the Humane Society said.
Hutson’s neighbor Dusty Albritton started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cat’s medical expenses.
“I saw him with my own eyes. I know he was dead. He was cold and stiff,” Albritton told ABC News.
Albritton’s cat died the same day with similar injuries.
“We figured he was hit by the same car,” she said.
“Now my kids believe their cat will also rise from the dead,” she said with a chuckle. “But I told them I don’t think so.”
When she discovered the resurrected Bart, she said he acted “like he’s in no pain whatsoever.”
“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. All I can think of is that God created animal life on the fifth day.“
Bart was a kitten from Hutson’s girlfriend’s cat. He said this has been an emotional ordeal for him and his girlfriend, but he hasn’t tried explaining the situation to his two-year old daughter.
“As a two-year old, she doesn’t understand any of this either,” he said.