The heroic cat who saved her young master from a vicious dog attack has given her first interview since the rescue. In a sense.
Tara the tabby modestly spends much of the segment trying to squirm out of the frame as a crew from ABC23 try to coax some words out of her owner Jeremy Triantafilo.
The four-year-old explains: “I love Tara a whole lot.
Jeremy Triantafilo and Tara the rescue cat share a kiss
“She’s a hero,” he adds, before pointing out: “She has whiskers.”
Jeremy was riding his bicycle in Bakersfield, California, when a neighbour’s dog raced up to him and began mauling him.
While Jeremy lay helpless on the ground, Tara comes bounding into the frame and chases off the canine.
Jeremy, who is mildly autistic, needed 10 stitches for a deep leg wound, but rescue moggy Tara’s bravery undoubtedly spared him further injuries.
Jeremy had to have 10 stitches after the attack
Hi mother Erica was watering plants nearby when the attack occurred and told Sky News: “I remember her hitting the dog.
“But seeing the video and seeing exactly what she did and chased that dog away… seeing her turn to check on Jeremy then returning to him. She is my hero.”
Jeremy’s father Roger said: “She followed us home from the park when Erica and I were dating. I said if she follows us all the way home, we can keep her.”
He added: “She has earned her salmon for the year – for life!”
A spokesman for Cats Protection told Huffington Post UK: ""This is an interesting piece of footage, because when a cat feels threatened its instinct is to hide or to jump up to a high place to protect itself, particularly if it has not been socialised to live with dogs.
Hero cat Tara at rest
"Cats are territorial so it's likely that Tara was defending her territory from the dog. In addition it is possible that cats include their owners as part of their territory and this may have been another factor behind her behaviour.
"Previous interactions may have influenced this reaction to the dog in this cat's core area and it is unclear from the footage whether any vocalisation shown by the cat, dog, child or parent, or any environmental noise or scent contributed to the event.
"Entire male cats, and queens with kittens, may display a heightened behaviour response which may be what is seen in this footage, if the cat is unneutered."