By Natasha Brown
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is the viral video everyone is talking about — a cat comes to the aid of a little boy, scaring away a dog that went on the attack.
It happened in Bakersfield, California.
Tara, the Triantafilo family’s cat, is undeniably a hero in their eyes. Shocking surveillance video shows why.
Four-year-old Jeremy was in the yard riding his little bicycle when a neighbor’s dog creeps up behind him, and attacks him, tossing him to the ground.
Within seconds, the family’s cat, Tara, comes out of nowhere, charging the attacking dog.
“Next thing I know the dog was just there and it was shaking him and before I could even get there, my cat clobbered him,” mother Erika Triantafilo said.
The fearless cat holds her ground facing down the dog until he runs away while Jeremy’s mother runs to help her son.
“After the initial hit she turns around and looks at Jeremy and then continues to chase the dog to make sure that it continues on,” father Roger Triantafilo said.
Jeremy needed stitches in his leg, but is in good spirits just a day after the brutal attack.
“It’s unbelievable, actually. I wouldn’t believe it unless I saw it.”
Folks CBS 3 showed the video to were stunned, but doctors who study animal behavior at the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Hospital say the cat’s motivation may have simply come down to a pet protecting its territory.
“If you look at videos of cats, they chase dogs out of their territory, without kids, there’s plenty of these types of videos. So it’s difficult to say, to understand, what is the motivation,” Dr. Carlo Siracusa of Penn Veterinary Medicine said.
Whatever the motivation, the Triantafilos couldn’t be more thankful for their unlikely hero.
Police in Bakersfield, California say the dog belonged to a neighbor and had escaped when the neighbor was pulling out of a driveway.
Meantime the dog will be quarantined for 10 days and then euthanized.