Local News

Tuesday, May 20 2014 11:20 AM

'First Look': Ninja-cat family talks about their hero

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    Roger and Erica Triantafilo, parents of Tara the hero cat, share Tara's story of coming to the rescue of their 4-year-old son, Jeremy, during a segment of "First Look with Scott Cox."

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A cat that was stray in 2008 ended up being an instant hero for the Triantafilo family when it chased away a dog during an attack of 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo on May 13.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Four-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo is doing much better Wednesday afternoon, the day after a dog attacked him while he played in his front yard on Eagle Vista Drive in Bakersfield. His cat, Tara, background, is credited for chasing the dog away. Jeremy needed emergency medical aid for the dog bites to his leg. His mother, Erica, also needed medical aid from bites she sustained while protecting her son. A security camera video has gone viral on the Internet, attracting national media attention.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Four-year-old Jeremy sits with his parents Roger and Erica Triantafilo and his cat Tara Wednesday morning. The cat became a hero when a dog attacked Jeremy in his front yard on Eagle Vista Drive in Bakersfield and Tara came out and chased the dog away. Jeremy needed stitches for severe bites to his leg and his mother also needed medical aid from bites she sustained while protecting her son. A video of the incident has gone viral, creating national media attention.

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By LAURA LIERA, Californian staff writer lliera@bakersfield.com

Tara the cat is a hero -- so she obviously needs her own website.

On May 13, she ninja-body-slammed a neighbor's dog as he attacked 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo in southwest Bakersfield. The heroic move was caught on the family's surveillance system and the video went viral around the world.

Roger and Erica Triantafilo have created a website for their 6-year-old family cat and talked about the life changing moment when Tara saved their son Tuesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

"We have major networks wanting to do a story on Tara," Roger said.

The family has done interviews for CNN, "Good Morning America," NBC, Fox, ABC and others.

Roger wanted to make it clear that it wasn't the family's intent to be seen around the globe when they released the video of Tara coming to the rescue. They just wanted to put up a random video of their cat doing something unordinary.

"Although it's been overwhelming, it's been fun," Erica said.

After the 8-month-old male Labrador-chow mix attacked Jeremy, he received 10 stitches. The family said they are not taking legal action against their neighbors because they are friends.

When asked if Tara had ever shown a motherly instinct before, Roger and Erica said the opportunity had never presented itself for her to defend Jeremy or their two twin boys.

But for the six years Tara has lived with them, they treat her as a member of the Triantafilo family.

"She goes on walks with us around the block," Erica said.

And to give the Bakersfield community the opportunity to see Tara the ninja cat in person, the Triantafilo family has been invited to Sam Lynn Ballpark to throw the first pitch Tuesday.

Jeremy and Tara will throw the first pitch at 7:15 p.m. before the Bakersfield Blaze take on Lancaster at 7:30 p.m.

To learn more about Tara, visit www.taratheherocat.com. Yes, she has her own site, and her own Facebook page.

 

 

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