Bart, the so-called "zombie cat" who managed to claw out of his grave after being buried alive for five days is now at the center of a custody dispute between his owner, Ellis Hutson, and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
52-year old Hutson claimed that about two weeks ago, he found Bart after it was hit by a car. Thinking that the animal was dead, he asked a friend to bury the cat. Surprisingly, the resilient cat showed up injured but alive after five days. With the cat's condition, Hutson was prompted to ask help from the Humane Society.
In a statement released on Friday, however, the animal shelter said that it will no longer return Bart to Hutson, who wanted his miracle cat back. Humane Society of Tampa Bay executive director Sherry Silk said that they have become suspicious of some of the circumstances that surround the cat's injuries and its owner's account.
"Recently, we have learned new information about Bart's home environment and the circumstances leading up to his burial. Therefore, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay does not intend to return Bart to the Hutson family," the Humane Society said in a statement.
What made the group mull over returning the cat to its owner appears to have something to do with a video posted by Hutson's neighbor, Dusty Albritton, on Youtube a week ago, which revealed some insights on the cat's condition before it was buried. It appeared that the owners buried the cat regardless that it exhibited signs of being alive.
In the three-minute video, Hutson's girlfriend, Candice Mclendon, was heard expressing her doubts about the cat being dead because the animal was still moving when she found him.
"He might not have been dead. Cause when I found him ... he was moving and stuff," Mclendon said on the video."
The other concern of the Humane Society was about the cat's living situation. Bart being an outdoor cat, was not vaccinated and neutered. Silk said that they want to cat to be inside the home but he may cause problems around a child, who do not know how to handle him. Hutson has a daughter.
Silk added that they hope that Hutson will surrender the cat to the Humane Society so they can look for a home more suited for the cat's situation.