A cat named Bart earned himself the nickname “zombie cat” when he crawled from his grave after mistakenly being buried alive.

Earlier this month Ellis Hutson, Bart’s owner, found the cat lying lifeless in the middle of a Tampa road after being hit by a car, but he couldn’t bring himself to bury Bart, so he asked a neighbor to do it.

The neighbor dug a shallow grave for the cat, but five days later, Bart emerged, weak and in need of medical attention.

Hutson took Bart to a local vet and learned his cat had a broken jaw and a ruptured eye and was also seriously dehydrated.

However, he was unable to afford Bart’s medical fees, so he turned to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

It took several hours to clean the cat up and remove the maggots from his body, and then a Humane Society vet performed Bart’s surgery.

During the procedure, Bart had his ruptured eye removed and his jaw wired shut, and although he may look rough, the vet says he’s doing well and is very affectionate.

“He does look like something out of a horror movie today, he really, really does,” Sherry Silk, executive director of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, told The Washington Post. “But his personality hasn’t changed a bit.”

Bart’s surgery was paid for by the organization’s Save-A-Pet Medical Fund; however, since Bart’s story went viral, donations have poured in to cover the lucky kitty’s medical expenses.

Bart will be on a feeding tube for several days and taking lots of pain medication, but he’s expected to make a full recovery in about six weeks.

Related on MNN:

Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Cat crawls from grave 5 days after burial ... and lives!
Bart suffered broken jaw and a ruptured eye, but he underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.