NEW YORK (PIX11) – A heroic family cat that saved a California toddler from a vicious neighborhood dog is now touring the morning talk shows after rapidly becoming an Internet legend.
On May 13, 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo was playing in front of their Bakersfield home when a neighborhood guard dog got loose.
Surveillance cameras recorded the dog running around the truck parked in the driveway and going straight for Jeremy’s leg. The dog latched on and began dragging the boy off his bike when the family cat, Tara came flying into the picture.
“I just remember hearing him (son Jeremy) and then seeing my cat flying onto this dog,” Erica Triantafilo said on The Today Show. “For the most part she’s just the most mellow cat.”
Triantafilo said Tara adopted their family after following them home from the park one day. She said Tara formed a bond with her young son, even sleeping with him in his crib when he was younger.
But what she did to save Jeremy surprised them all.
“It was pretty amazing to see a cat take on a dog so selflessly,” said Jeremy’s father, Eric Triantafilo. “I think that dog did not even know what hit him.”
He said he heard about the attack from his wife, but had no idea what really happened until he returned home from the hospital and checked the surveillance footage.
Jeremy suffered lacerations on his leg but is recovering well.
As for the dog, Eric Triantafilo said animal control officers told her that the two choices are either a lengthy rehabilitation process or, more likely, euthanization.