Heroism Stands on Four Legs


By Tanya Silverman

Photo courtesy of Tara Hero Cat.

Independence Day is a special time for us Americans to recognize our national heroes.

While numerous figures have become embedded into our national consciousness over centuries, one newcomer to the American heroic cannon is only stretching her legs. I’m talking of course, about Tara, a California family’s cat.

If you haven’t heard about what happened on May 13 of this year, danger stuck the Triantafilo family’s 4-year-old son, Jeremy, when a neighbor’s dog began attacking the child in the driveway. Tara bravely rushed to the rescue, knocking the perpetrator clean off her loved one in one fell swoop, saving him from certain destruction. The security-camera footage was made public, resulting in viral success that spread the news of Tara, the Hero Cat.

Since her recent rise to stardom, Tara received substantial media coverage and gained ample social-media following on Facebook and Twitter. She (almost) threw the first pitch at a Bakersfield baseball game, and attended a Cat Fanciers’ Association event as a guest of honor.

The Triantafilo family touched base with BTR to talk about Tara’s newfound limelight.

Has life changed much since becoming the “Hero Cat?” It seems like Tara has been able to do some cool things like pitch a baseball and appear on various media outlets.

Life has definitely changed for Tara as she is now one of the most requested cats in the media today. She is just loving the attention and we are grateful that she is not like other cats whom shy away from the spotlight. She has blown us away with how she has handled this newfound fame!

How was the adventure of climbing up the “amazing cat towers” at the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)?

Tara and Jeremy took to the towers like two kids exploring new worlds. We were concerned at first but to be honest, I wish I could have joined them! They both looked like giants climbing tiny tree houses and they were loving it! There is nothing better than having an adventure with your best friend!

Did random people (or cats) at the CFA recognize Tara from watching the internet video?

Most of the people at the event knew right away and a few didn’t. But oh, when those who didn’t know found out, it was as if they were meeting their favorite celebrity.

Do you have any comments on the presence of Grumpy Cat saying “No” on the Facebook wall?

We think Grumpy Cat is great.

Do you have any heroic advice for other cats or cat owners?

Being a hero isn’t something anyone asks for or is born with. It doesn’t matter how small or big you are. All that matters is how you choose to act when the situation rises. Tara acted to save the human she loved at great risk to herself because, for her, there was no other choice. She embodied greatness in that moment as all real heroes do.