The hero cat who saved a 4-year-old California boy from an neighborhood dog attack will throw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game--in addition to being presented with the very first Cat Hero Award by the Cat Fanciers' Association at an awards show later this year.
She will throw the first pitch next week for the Bakersfield Blaze, a Cincinnati Reds' Class A team.
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"When we saw this cat, light bulbs went off," said Jodell Raymond, communications director for the Cat Fanciers' Association. "This is a perfect example of what we're talking about. It's such a great example of the feline-human bond."
The cat, named Tara, was adopted by the Triantafilo family six years ago and rose to fame this week after surveillance videos of her heroic deeds went viral. The video has gotten more than 7 million views on YouTube.
Jeremy Triantafilo was straddling his bike on the family driveway when the dog grabbed him by his left leg and began dragging him away. Within seconds, Tara threw herself at the dog, pushing it off the child, and chased it away.
"We've heard of things like this happening," Raymond said. "It's an example of how mother cats protect their kittens and how that extends to the female cat protecting its owner."
According to reports, Jeremy received 10 stitches to his calf and the 8-month-old Labrador mix will be euthanized.
A formal invitation to the awards show has been sent to the Triantafilo family.