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After video of cat saving their son went viral, the Triantafilo family speaks out

Family Whose Cat Saved Son Appears On 'Today' Show

Yesterday, video of a cat saving a little boy from a dog attack went incredibly viral.

Now, the family is speaking out, and we know that the cat is named Tara ... and that the brave little boy is 4-year-old Jeremy.

KERO has footage of the incident, which was caught on surveillance video from the family's home.

You can see Tara the cat charging at the dog to keep Jeremy out of harm's way.

Thursday, the Triantafilo family -- including Jeremy, parents Roger and Erica and Tara herself -- sat down for an interview on the "Today" show. Tara even contributed to the conversation.

"All our boys love her and pick on her occasionally."

Throughout the interview, it was clear the Triantafilos are still surprised that their pet turned out to be such a hero.

"It was pretty amazing to see just a cat take on a dog and so selflessly just put herself out there and not worry about if she was going to get bit."

According to KERO, Tara was a stray who followed Roger and Erica around before they adopted her six years ago. The parents say her actions were unexpected because she's normally a mellow cat.

During the station's interview, Tara sits in a chair with Jeremy and patiently allows him to pet and kiss her face.

Jeremy received 10 stitches for the wounds on his calf, and his mom told the Today anchors "he's just ready to get out there and run around and play with the other kids again."

Join the discussion

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PowellTreeCare May 15 2014 at 7:50 PM

When I was a kid, I had a cat named Ralph who thought he was a dog. He was very protective over me and my little brother. I can remember him chasing a dog away from us too - and, more than one time. He came when you called his name, and played fetch. He was a really great animal - I miss him.

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fencemendr May 15 2014 at 7:04 PM

Speaking from personal experienceS...strays always make the best pets. At 55 i have never paid for a pet and have also never been without one or more. I'm not saying I never will purchase a four-legged companion; I wouldn't mind having a Corgi and a Manx.

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1 reply
becellerm fencemendr May 15 2014 at 7:46 PM

We have a blue manx we adopt from the no kill shelter. There are some out there needing good homes.

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Rachel Morgan May 15 2014 at 7:01 PM

I'm so sad the dog was put down; owners need to have them inside the house or leashed; it was not the dog's fault. Owner's did not love their dog,,,shame on then.

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2 replies
rohrscheibcroh Rachel Morgan May 15 2014 at 7:05 PM

I did not see that any where

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userbub12487 Rachel Morgan May 15 2014 at 7:06 PM

you forgot to add "vicious" before "dog"

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callandersr May 15 2014 at 6:56 PM

I watch the TV 's news that I real shocked to saw the cat hate the bad dog . That the cat is very smart.

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Shannon May 15 2014 at 6:51 PM

All right TARA!!! Glad the kid is okay. I do have to agree with some who have asked why the mother didn't pick up her son though!

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2 replies
sadiemae1214 Shannon May 15 2014 at 7:06 PM

She started to but put him down to make sure the dog was gone and not going to attack both of them.

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rohrscheibcroh Shannon May 15 2014 at 7:07 PM

all I saw was a dog behind a tree the whole video is odd an they some one posted they put it down where was that

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1 reply
llpersgard rohrscheibcroh May 15 2014 at 7:37 PM


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rshackster May 15 2014 at 6:48 PM

That's a COOL CAT!!!!!!!

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I LOVE YOU JENNY May 15 2014 at 6:47 PM

Save it!!!!!!!!

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bwrtcorp May 15 2014 at 6:40 PM

I find it mind-boggling that the woman in the video left the child on the ground! My first instinct would have been to pick him up and run into the house. There could have been a PACK of dogs roaming her yard, for all she knew. Why go looking for them? Pick up the kid and get inside to safety. It's a no brainer.

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2 replies
Mark bwrtcorp May 15 2014 at 6:44 PM

There was no need to fear Tara the cat was near! Super Cat...

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BlackDeep bwrtcorp May 15 2014 at 8:02 PM

You weren't there. It is easy to sit back and say, what you would or wouldn't have done when it is after the fact and have all the time in the world to think about what you would have done.

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1 reply
happy2bgridfree BlackDeep May 15 2014 at 8:57 PM

I know what I would have done. I'd have gathered up my child and ran like a bat-outta-hell into the house. Why on earth would I look for the dog who attacked my child while my child was on the ground, wounded? I'm sorry, but her reaction is really bizarro.

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IN MY OPINION ONLY May 15 2014 at 6:37 PM

God bless the cat. Punish the owner of the dog big time.

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ritteralvarez May 15 2014 at 6:37 PM

That dog needs a big dose of VIGILANTE JUSTICE

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1 reply
happy2bgridfree ritteralvarez May 15 2014 at 6:50 PM

Reportedly, the dog was euthanized today. Know who needs to face justice? The OWNERS of that 8-month-old puppy who obviously trained him to be aggressive and did not supervise him adequately. I feel very bad for the dog who paid with his life for the actions of his owners.

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