A family in Bakersfield, California is grateful for their cat's quick thinking after a next door neighbor's dog attacked their son earlier this week. The act was caught on the families security camera and the owner discovered only after watching the footage that it was their family cat that jumped in for the rescue.
Roger Triantafilo said his son Jeremy, 4, was riding his bike Tuesday outside the family home when the dog bit him on his left leg.
Their cat, Tara, pounced on the dog, chased him away and then stayed with the injured boy while his mother, Erika Triantafilo, who was nearby, got help.
"We both gasped and said 'Holy cow!' Roger told ABC News today. "We couldn't believe that happened."
"To have her - with no regard for her own life - fly at the dog to protect [Jeremy]," Erika said. "I've never seen anything like that."
The video was uploaded to youtube and had approximately 6 million hits and growing in less than a day after the upload. The family started receiving calls from people all over the country about the incident.
Tara became a part of the family back in 2008 when she followed them home from the park that the Triantafilo's were visiting. They decided to keep the cat even though Erika is allergic to cats -- and have kept her as a pet ever since.
The parents described Tara as having a close relationship with Jeremy ever since he was born. She would crawl into his crib at night to sleep beside him. That relationship came into play when the unsuspecting Jeremy was bitten by the neighbors dog and Tara jumped in to save the day.
The neighbor called 911 on behalf of the boy and his mother.
KERO 23 reports that Jeremy, who needed a few stitches, is doing fine now. The dog’s not so lucky. Police tell the TV station that the canine will be quarantined and then euthanized.
Sgt. Joe Grubbs, Bakersfield Police spokesman, said the dog will be quarantined for 10 days then euthanized.
"I've never seen a cat do that," said Roger Triantafilo, Jeremy's father. "Especially ours. It just shows how much she really has a family-oriented mind set."
The Bakersfield Blaze confirmed Thursday that the cat that saved Jeremy from the neighbors dog attack will throw out the first pitch at a game next week on the 20th.