A cat with an overpowering will to live has dug its way out of a grave and made its way home five days after being buried.

Ellis Hutson of Tampa, Florida found his one-and-a-half-year-old pet cat Bart’s seemingly lifeless body in a pool of blood in the middle of the road.

Bart was buried, but five days later turned up at the house of Hutson’s neighbour, who reunited the battered feline with his owner.

Hutson said he was so close to Bart he couldn’t stand to bury him himself so he asked a neighbour for help.

“He dug a hole and covered up the cat with dirt. I witnessed him bury the cat.”

After Bart returned, Hutson took him to the Humane Society, where the cat was to have surgery and medical attention.

“We have seen many amazing cases at our full-service veterinary clinic, but this situation may take the cake,” the society said.

“He had dug himself out of the grave and slowly made his way back home, albeit weak, dehydrated and in need of medical attention,” the Humane Society added.

Bart was being treated for a broken jaw, open facial wounds and a ruined eye, which would have to be removed. He was expected to recover and be able to go home.

The cost of fixing up Bart was reported to be about US$2000, and that another of Hutson’s neighbours, Dusty Albritton, had started a page on GoFundMe to help cover the cat’s medical expenses.

The cat underwent surgery successfully and is expected to live its life on a second lease.

Take that, Gill!