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 Entertainment

WATCH: 60 years of ‘Guinness World Records’

12-overlay14

That's a lot of years of documenting unique records.

in Music

MTV VMAs: Tears, chaos, and music history

23-overlay17

The Executive Producer of the MTV Video Music Awards looks back at the craziest and the most unpredictable moments in the ceremony's history.

in Entertainment

‘Big Bang’ star Jim Parsons making big bank

jimparsons

The TV favorite has earned an estimated $29 million in the past year,

in Music

Carrie Underwood hitting the catwalk

carrieunderwood

The "Before He Cheats" hitmaker will showcase new looks from her Calia fitness line at the prestigious style event, which kicks off on Sept. 10.

in Entertainment

Kim and Kanye get $440K for leaked engagement video

015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center - Arrivals

West proposed to Kardashian in spectacular fashion in front of friends and family with fireworks and a 50-piece orchestra at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California in October, 2013, but there was one unwelcome guest - YouTube.com co-founder Chad Hurley.