Family swamped by attention after video of cat saving boy from dog
Family swamped by attention, interviews after boy's dramatic rescue from dog
McClatchy Tribune in Los Angeles
The parents of a four-year-old boy who was saved from a dog attack by the family's cat, Tara, say the worldwide attention the viral video has generated has "just been insane".
Within two days of the Triantafilos posting the video of the incident on YouTube, the video had garnered nearly 17 million views, propelling the family from a modest suburban Bakersfield, California, neighbourhood to worldwide fame.
They have sat down for TV interviews with major news programmes and fielded calls from as far away as Hong Kong and Ireland since posting the video on Wednesday, said Erica Triantafilo, whose son was attacked by a neighbour's dog. "It's just been insane," she said.
Tara, however, hasn't been fazed by the spotlight, appearing calm and purring during live interviews. She is scheduled to "throw" the ceremonial first pitch at a Bakersfield Blaze minor-league baseball game on Tuesday.
"She is just getting love," Triantafilo said. "She's mostly being loved on."
It all started on Tuesday afternoon when her son, Jeremy, arrived home from school and decided to ride his brother's bike.
A neighbour's dog dashed towards him, attacked his ankle and pulled him from the bike.
Within seconds, Tara sprinted into view on the family's surveillance cameras and rammed into the dog before chasing it away from Jeremy. The boy required 10 stitches as a result of the attack and is recovering.
After he hailed his cat as a hero, the feline was quickly dubbed by the media Tara the hero cat.
The owner of the eight-month-old Labrador-chow mix voluntarily surrendered the dog to the Bakersfield Animal Care Centre and it is to be put down.