Viral YouTube feline hero Tara the Cat is scheduled to symbolically throw the first pitch at a Class A baseball game between the Bakersfield Blaze and the Lancaster JetHawks next Tuesday.
A surveillance video of Tara scaring off a dog who was attacking 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo in his family's driveway has garnered over 18 million views after being posted on May 14. An 8-month-old neighborhood Labrador-Chow mix came from behind a parked SUV and attacked preschooler Triantafilo as he was riding his bike Tuesday, biting him in the left calf, and knocking him to the ground.
Gray tabby Tara, a former stray who had bonded with Jeremy when he was an infant, quickly barreled in, pushing the dog off the boy:
Jeremy's mother Erica Triantafilo quickly rushed in and took Jeremy to an urgent care center, where he received 10 stitches and an antibiotic shot. The preschooler took the rest of the week off from class, and during a Wednesday interview with ABC Network News Correspondent David Wright, Jeremy commented, “A mean dog hurt me. He tried to bite me. The cat saved me. My kitty’s a hero.”
Tara the Cat, with the help of the Triantafilo family, will "throw" the first ceremonial pitch at 7:15 p.m. on May 20 at Historic Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield, followed by the minor-league game's first pitch at 7:30.
Want to see Tara the hero cat throw out the first pitch on Tuesday? Bring a donation item for animal group and get bogo offer on ticket!
— Bakersfield Blaze (@BakoBlaze) May 16, 2014
Bakersfield police spokesman Sgt. Joe Grubbs said the offending dog will be quarantined for 10 days and subsequently put down.
Jeremy's father Roger Triantafilo commented, “A lot of people have gotten comments about our neighbors, and I want to say I am not blaming, we are not blaming them. Accidents happen. It was a dog and things happen.”
In other cat news, organic kitty litter has been suspected of causing a nuclear waste containment breach in New Mexico.
Image via Twitter