Florida resident Ellis Hutson grieved when a car ran over his cat. He was simply stunned when his cat, since buried, clawed its way out and refused to die, ABC News reports. "I was so shocked," says the 52-year-old landscaper. "I didn’t know really what to do." Hutson says he found his cat Bart lying lifeless in the road in a pool of blood two weeks ago. Too upset to bury him, he got a neighbor to help: "He dug a hole and covered up the cat with dirt," says Bart's owner. "I witnessed him bury the cat." That's why the knock on his door five days later left him speechless: It was another neighbor, holding Bart and saying she'd found him in her yard. "I said, 'That’s impossible,'" says Hutson.
Bart had a ruined eye, broken jaw, and facial wounds, but Hutson couldn't afford a vet—so he took him to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, KABC-TV reports. How do they explain it? Bart "dug himself out of the grave and slowly made his way back home, albeit ... weak, dehydrated, and in need of medical attention," the society says. But Bart still has it tough: In too much pain to eat, he was expected to undergo $2,000 surgery and post-op care to fix his palette, wire his jaw, and get a temporary feeding tube yesterday. He was also expected to lose his eye, MyFox Tampa Bay reports. A GoFundMe page set up for Bart says the surgery went "very well." Hutson says it's been emotional for him and his girlfriend, whose cat gave birth to Bart. And Hutson hasn't yet told his young daughter: "As a two-year old, she doesn't understand any of this either," he says. (Read about a hermaphrodite cat getting gender assignment surgery.)