Everyone loves a good story about a four-legged hero, especially when it’s one you might not have expected. About a year ago, Tara the tabby cat exhibited wonderful bravery when she saw the four-year-old son of her owner being attacked by a dog. As soon as she saw what was happening, Tara leapt into action and chased the dog away, saving the boy before he could be seriously hurt. Now, she’s still being recognized for her courage.
For every story of a dog leading people out of a burning building, there seem to be twelve videos of cats chasing laser pointers or finding themselves stuck in paper towel rolls. This time the popular cat video was different. Tara’s heroic actions were caught on camera, and the video went viral. On YouTube, it currently has over 1.2 million views, and Tara’s actions were shared in gif and photo form over other social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr. Before long, Tara was famous and a leading example for cats everywhere.
Tara garnered so much attention, in fact, that she came to be known as Tara the Hero Cat, and she started to receive special privileges and honors. She dropped the puck at a hockey game, threw the first pitch at a baseball game, and even had a day named after her in Kern Country, California.
Best of all, Tara the Hero Cat received the 33rd National Hero Dog Award from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles (spcaLA) on June 19th, 2015. spcaLA, a non-profit California-based organization, found Tara’s actions so inspiring that they made an exception for her. An award that, in the past, has only gone to dogs, was this time given to a very special cat. “We broke from tradition and awarded a cat the spcaLA National Hero Dog Award for her act of bravery on behalf of her child companion, Jeremy,” spcaLA said in an Instagram post displaying Tara and her new trophy.
This was the first time a cat has received the National Hero Dog Award, but the difference in species was not overlooked by the people of spcaLA. The trophy does read “National Hero Dog,” but the word “dog” has been carefully crossed out and the word “cat” is sweetly hand-etched in its place.
Now, Tara spends her days as she did before, lounging around the house and loving her human family. Hopefully it won’t be necessary for her to display her heroism again, but if ever it is, the Hero Cat will be ready to take on the challenge.