Hero Cat Tara to the rescue!

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Tara, the hero cat, threw out the first pitch at a minor league ball game in Bakersfield, California. This is just one of many honors accorded to the cat who saved her owner’s child from a dog attack.

Hero cat Tara and her owner's son, whom she saved from a dog attack. (Credit: ABC)

Hero cat Tara and her owner’s son, whom she saved from a dog attack. (Credit: ABC)

Cat facts show that Tara is not the first cat to protect her owner from danger. Unlike the stereotype of cats as aloof and uninterested in humans, cats actually have many layers of emotion and caring. You just have to know how to read them.

Hero cat

The Television Definition YouTube video shows how Tara saved her owner’s son, four-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo, from a vicious attack by a neighbor’s dog. The child was in his family’s driveway riding his tricycle when the dog attacked without warning grabbing the boy’s leg and dragging him down the driveway. In the nick of time, Tara leapt into action and body-slammed the dog causing him to lose his grip on the child. But Tara wasn’t finished. She then chased the attacker back into his own yard and only then returned to check on her boy.

While dogs are usually considered man’s best friend, stories abound of a cat’s willingness to come to the aid of her human companions.

Social cats

In an article for the September 15, 2001, issue of Science News, ”Social Cats,” Susan Milius debunked the myth of the cat as solitary and antisocial. According to Milius, just because cats don’t display their emotions in the same way as dogs doesn’t mean that they don’t care.

“Mere humans have a tough time analyzing feline behavior. A certain scent or a subtle pose seems to carry volumes of meaning for cats, but people just don’t get it. Crowell-Davis says that it’s not fair to assume that what’s hidden from people isn’t there,” Milius stated.

More cat facts

Tara is not the first hero cat to come to the aid of her owners. In an April 18, 2012, article for TopTenz.net, “Top 10 Amazing Cat Stories,” Dustin Koski enumerated the stories of other hero cats.

Among the top ten is the story of Tiger who saved her mistress from an attack by four pit bulls. According to Koski, “Then her cat, aptly named Tiger, jumped into the middle of the dogs and led them away from Thomas. When the dogs were gone, she went into her home and washed her wounds, thinking the dogs would kill Tiger. But before long the cat came back, unharmed, and likely was unbearably smug for quite awhile.”

Here is a brief list of other incidents where cats saved human lives.

Watch the YouTube video from Arketron, “Pet Cat Saves Boy from Two Vicious Gators,” where a cat stands guard by swatting gators who get too close to her human family.

In a January 7, 2013, article for Northernstar.com, “Mother’s worst nightmare as snake wraps around baby,” Javier Encalada described another hero cat.

“Richmond Hill’s Tess Guthrie was woken by the hissing of her cat Duchess to discover the two metre python wrapped around the right arm of her two and a half year-old daughter, Zara,” Encalada said.

Other stories on the Internet that show cat heroism in action include:

  • Oreo, whose cries woke her family in time to escape a deadly house fire
  • Baby, who also roused her family to the dangers of a home fire
  • Jack, who chased a bear up a tree
  • Schnautzie, whose cries aroused her owners to a gas pipe leak that could have proved deadly
  • Pudding, who roused her owner from a diabetic seizure and then ran to her owner’s son for help

Perhaps nothing beats the story of Tommy, who apparently dialed 911 to get help for his owner who had fallen from his wheelchair. Laura T. Coffey described the incident in her May 16, 2014, article for Today.com, “Good kitty: These 6 ‘hero cats’ saved the humans they loved.”

According to Coffey, Tommy’s owner, Gary Rosheisen, was unable to reach the cord that would have called paramedics. “But the 911 call got placed anyway, and when Daugherty arrived on the scene, he found Tommy reclining next to the phone.”

Read more about animal behavior on Questia.

What’s your favorite animal hero story? Tell us in the comments.

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