News

‘Hero Cat’ throws ceremonial first pitch – sort of

‘Hero Cat’ throws ceremonial first pitch – sort of

FIRST PITCH:Hero cat Tara held by owner Roger Triantafilo leaves after throwing the ceremonial first pitch before the start of Bakersfield Blaze and Lancaster Jayhawks Single A baseball game at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Photo: Reuters

BAKERSFIELD Ca. (Reuters) – Tara, a California cat that became a YouTube sensation after being videotaped interrupting a dog’s attack on a small boy, “tossed out” a ceremonial pitch at the start of a minor league baseball game on Tuesday.

Roger Triantafilo uploaded video footage last week of a dog dragging his 4-year-old son, Jeremy, from his bicycle when the hero feline, Tara, ran to the rescue, broadsiding the dog and chasing it away.

The video has since amassed more than 21 million views on YouTube.

Jeremy, who suffered a bite to his leg as he was dragged off his bicycle by the dog before Tara lunged to his rescue, actually threw the first pitch of the game before handing the ball to his cat.

As the crowd at the Sam Lynn Ballpark cheered, parents Roger and Erica Triantafilo supported the cat’s attempt to throw the ball to home plate by using her paw while staff from the Bakersfield Blaze baseball team used fishing wire to give the baseball the appearance of flying through the air.

The ball dropped straight to the ground, but the spectacle nonetheless drew a large crowd of “hero cat” fans to the stadium. Team staff said attendance for the Bakersfield team’s game with the Lancaster Jethawks was nearly triple that of a usual Tuesday night game.

“I was blown away. That cat is a hero,” said Tab Rowles, who attended with his daughter, Tatum. “I almost thought that there was some mechanical cat,” Rowles added.

“Being the mother, every time I watch (the video) it stops my heart for a moment,” Erica Triantafilo said. “Things could have been much worse without (Tara). We are just so thankful.”

(Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee, John Russell and Kevork Djansezian Editing by Chris Michaud)

Recent Headlines

in Music

This week’s top rock tracks

foofighters

LISTEN: This week's top rock songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: The ‘Force’ is strong with this home

11-overlay

If you weren't already excited for the next "Star Wars" movie, this house will change your mind.

in Weird

Gold tooth dropped in red kettle

kettle

There's been diamond rings, silver bars, and four-leaf clovers but this could be the first donation of its kind.

in Music

Dennis DeYoung: Rock Hall hates ‘power rock’

dennisdeyong

The "Come Sail Away" hitmakers have been overlooked again, alongside peers like Journey and Foreigner.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Airman ‘Santa’ surprises 6-year-old son at storytime

santa

Aaron Williams was sad that his dad, stationed in South Korea, wouldn't be stateside for the holidays ... but a little Christmas magic gave him a gift he'll never forget.