A cat that dug himself out of his own grave has been officially adopted after a two-year legal battle between the Humane Society and his original "owner."
The Humane Society Tampa Bay announced Bart the "Zombie Cat," who was hit by a car and buried while still alive, found a permanent home after the organization was able to legally claim ownership of him.
"After 20 months in our care, countless hours of paperwork, and millions of prayers and well-wishes from across the world, we finally have been legally granted ownership of Bart the Miracle Cat to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay!" the society announced in a press release. "But he was only ours for a few hours as his foster family prepared to make his place in their home permanent."
Two years ago, Bart was struck by a car and severely injured. His human, Ellis Huston, had a neighbor bury the cat, likely believing that he had died.
Five days later, however, Bart dug himself out of his own grave and appeared at a neighbor's home, hungry and struggling to stay alive.
Huston contacted the Humane Society's animal hospital where surgery was performed to repair Bart's broken jaw, remove his eye, and nurse him back to strength and health.
"When we went to visit him, he was cleaning himself and full of meows and headbutts for us," HSTB said in an update at the time.
The Humane Society revoked Hutson's custody, and he responded with a lawsuit to reclaim ownership of Bart.He lost.
In the meantime, the staff and volunteers at HSTB had fallen in love with the plucky kitty. "He is a courageous, friendly, silly and affectionate kitty who greets us each day with happy enthusiasm and makes us laugh with his goofy way of jumping on our keyboards and trying to eat our lunches," HSTB wrote.
Following the ruling against Huston, HSTB announced that Bart's foster mom of nearly two years will now officially be his forever human. Bart will also get to stay forever with the foster sis-fur and bro-fur he's bonded with.
"This cat had a will to live," an HSTB representative said. "He was not going down without a fight. It took him months to recover. He was depressed, couldn't eat well and a lot of other animals may have just given up. He didn't."
And now he'll have the loving forever home every kitty deserves. Live long and prospurr, Bart!
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