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October 25, 2014

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Hero cat that saved boy takes pitcher’s mound

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A family's cat captured in a viral video saving a Central California boy from a dog attack has another challenge ahead, but this time from the pitcher's mound.

Dan Besbris of the Bakersfield Blaze minor league baseball team said Friday that the cat named Tara will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the next home game. Besbris wouldn't reveal how they expect to pull off the stunt, hoping to heighten interest. Tara has already proven she's exceptional, he said.

"It sounds crazy," Besbris said. "But we've got a trick up our sleeve."

The video that has garnered millions of views online shows the 4-year-old in front of his family's Bakersfield home when the neighbor's dog bites his leg and violently shakes him. Tara darts in, pouncing on the dog, which runs away.

The boy's father, Roger Triantafilo, said his family has accepted the ball team's invitation.

Triantafilo said he edited the video captured by his home security cameras and posted it on YouTube — his first — for family and friends to see. He never anticipated the flood of attention.

Tara, who followed him and his wife, Erica, home from the park one night, is now the family's hero, and they are smothering her with love, Triantafilo said.

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

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