Hero cat "throws" first pitch at California baseball game

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CBS) - A cat that became famous for saving a central California boy from a dog attack threw the first pitch Tuesday night at a Bakersfield Blaze baseball game - or at least she tried.

The cat, named Tara, was captured on security camera on May 13 when she pounced on a dog that attacked her 4-year-old human Jeremy Triantafilo.

The video, which has garnered 21 million views on YouTube, shows the dog biting and attempting to drag the boy. Within seconds, Tara leaps out and chases the canine away.
Jeremy needed 10 stitches in his left leg after the incident.

Ryan Triantafilo, Jeremy's father, said he edited the video and posted it on YouTube for family and friends to see and that he never anticipated the flood of attention.

Tara, who followed Triantafilo and his wife, Erica, home from the park one night, has been smothered with love since her heroics.

"We've just given her a lot of love, kept her in the house and paid a lot of attention to her," he said.

Tara couldn't have attempted a first pitch without help from Blaze pitching coach Tom Browning, reports CBS affiliate KBAK in Bakersfield. "We went directly to a two seam fastball," said Browning, who noticed that the nails on Tara could be problem if she tried to throw something else.

There was a failed attempt at the game, between the Blaze and the Lancaster JetHawks, to have Tara "throw" the pitch using a baseball attached to a fishing line.

Tara might have been nervous, so Ryan Triantafilo helped the cat throw the pitch as he held her in his arms.

Meanwhile, Jeremy, ever grateful to his feline buddy, threw the game's actual ceremonial first pitch.


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