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Back From The Dead: A Cat Returns Home 5 Days After His Burial

Lori Piper, right, and Aleks Gramza treat Bart on Tuesday at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Bart was hit by a car, buried and apparently crawled back to his owner five days later.
Danyelle Ho

We wrote about dogs today and so, in the interest of bipartisanship, this story is about cats – one cat in particular: Bart.

Bart's owner, Ellis Hutson, 52, of Tampa, Fla., said he found the 1 1/2-year-old feline last week in the middle of the street. The cat was lifeless and lying in a pool of blood after apparently being struck by a car.

"I couldn't stand to bury the cat," Hutson told the Tampa Bay Times. And so he asked his neighbor to dig a shallow grave for the cat near where he was found.

Five days later, Bart was back, having apparently used up one of his nine lives. He had a broken jaw, open wounds on his face and a ruptured eye. But he was alive.

"It was unbelievable," Hutson told the newspaper. "I've never seen anything like that before."

Hutson first reached out to local veterinary clinics, but he was unable to afford their fees. He then turned to the . Vets there say they expect Bart to recover — though he will lose his eye.

"Bart came through his surgery very well and is resting comfortably in our care," the Humane Society said today. "He will be able to go home in five to seven days once he is able to eat on his own. Full recovery will take about six weeks. He is a brave boy!"

Once he recovers, Bart will go home to Hutson.

"The guy genuinely, believe me, cares about this cat," Sherry Silk, Humane Society's executive director told Tampa Bay Times. "He's a well-meaning guy."

Hutson's neighbor, Dusty Albritton, who found Bart after his burial, called it "God's miracle."

"I saw him with my own eyes," he told ABC News. "I know he was dead. He was cold and stiff."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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