"He's just the coolest cat — he really and truly is. He's a happy boy," the woman who adopted Bart the "Zombie Cat" said
zombie cat
Credit: Adam Goldberg/AGoldPhoto Pet Photography

"Zombie Cat" is living the life he always deserved.

The feline, whose real name is Bart, made headlines in January 2015 when he seemingly came back from the dead by digging himself out of the grave his previous owners, who thought the feline was deceased following a car accident, buried him in.

Following Bart's reappearance, a 20-month-long legal battle ensued for custody of the cat between Bart's original owners and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, which treated Bart's extensive injuries after he emerged from the dirt five days after being buried. The organization eventually settled with Bart's previous owners outside of court. Bart was then adopted by the shelter employee who had been fostering him during his time at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Now, speaking with Today, his adopter Valerie — who asked for her last name to be kept private — opened up about life with the animal and what it was like welcoming him into his new home.

zombie cat
Credit: Adam Goldberg/AGoldPhoto Pet Photography

According to Valerie, Bart has always been a "sweetheart" — even through his heartbreaking predicament — and has made the best of his given situation.

"Even in the worst of times when he had just arrived, he would head-butt people just to try and get some pets," the woman told Today. "He's always been a big, old love."

"He wants to be around people and to play and be loved, and that's it," she added.

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zombie cat
Credit: Courtesy of Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Valerie also told the outlet that she was worried that the three cats she already owned would not adjust well to another feline in the house when she first brought Bart home with her.

But, as she noted to Today, her three cats — Max, Cecelia, and Jack — took to Bart right away, with Max even sticking his head into Bart's carrier and grooming him before he could even step out.

"I thought that was just the cutest thing, that that was his welcome to the house," she said. "He wasn't even out of the carrier, and Max is in there going, 'Hey, who are you? Welcome! — Come on out!'"

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Along with spending time with his new siblings, Bart also loves toys, as well as Boar's Head chicken.

"He's doing amazing," Valerie said. "He has definitely put on more weight than he probably should have, but he's very, very hard to deny, as you can imagine, after everything he went through."

Added Valerie of her feline friend: "He has by far the best personality. He is the first one to go to the door and greet whoever comes through that door. He's just always happy-go-lucky Bart. He's just the coolest cat — he really and truly is. He's a happy boy."

Valerie is hopeful that by sharing Bart's story with the public, more people will be interested in supporting their local shelters and all the animals they help.