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Hero Cat is the nickname given to Tara, a family cat from California who became internet famous after rescuing her caretakers’ child from being attacked by a neighbor’s dog in May 2014.
On May 14th, 2014, YouTuber Roger Triantafilo uploaded a video titled “My Cat Saved My Son,” which shows surveillance camera footage of a dog viciously attacking his son Jeremy while riding his tricycle in their driveway in Bakersfield, California, though not long before the family cat Tara appears out of nowhere and lunges at the canine to chase it away (shown below). In the first 48 hours, the video gained over 16.8 million views and 18,000 comments.
On the same day, Redditor manufaktor submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit and Redditor immorta1 posted an animated GIF of the video to /r/gifs (shown below). In two days, the posts gained more than 1,200 and 49,100 upvotes respectively.
Also on May 14th, TMZ reported that after the canine was picked up by animal control and continued its aggressive behavior, the decision was made to euthanize the dog. On May 15th, the Triantafilo family was interviewed on the morning talk shot Today, where they recounted the incident and praised their cat Tara for defending their son (shown below).
On May 15th, the Bakersfield, Florida news channel ABC 23 reported that Tara would be throwing out the first pitch in an upcoming Bakersfield Blaze baseball game. In the coming days, several news sites reported on the incident and nicknamed Tara “Hero Cat,” including CBS News, The Huffington Post, LA Times,Gawker and Mediate.