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by
Rick Moran

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May 17, 2014 - 1:26 pm
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As a cat lover, I never tire of seeing this video of Tara, the Hero Cat, saving his young boy from serious injury at the hands of a very mean, vicious dog.

Now, Tara has been asked to throw out the first pitch at a Bakersfield Blaze minor league baseball game. Sounds impossible, right? Take a look at that video again and tell me there’s anything a cat can’t do — besides come when they’re called, sit, fetch, and, er…never mind.

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.”

Can’t wait for video of that.

Indeed, I have been kept by cats for more than 40 years and could never have imagined a feline capable of such an act. What went on in that devious, mammalian brain — that usually could give two figs about their human companions — that caused Tara to place herself in mortal danger by attacking an animal three times its size? Tara not only ran toward the dog, she actually gave it a good bump. Her aggressiveness startled the dog to flight.

There have been instances of cats waking up sleeping humans, warning them of a fire. But cats tolerate us, allow us into their lives for mostly selfish reasons. Magnanimous gestures are not, as a rule, part of a cat’s makeup.

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Top Rated Comments   
I believe those of you who think cats don't care have just never had one that was properly socialized to humans during the kitten imprint period (3-7 weeks).

A cat that is socialized right and then treated decently afterwards can be as unconditionally affectionate and responsive as dogs are supposed to be. It helps to pick a sociable breed like the Maine Coon, but even mongrel cats are capable of great affection.

Until less than a month ago my wife and I had a coon-mix cat who loved us deeply and didn't know the meaning of "aloof". She lived to be past 21, and was reliably affectionate to both of us (and random houseguests!) every day of her life. Acute renal failure finally made her so ill we had to euthanize as the last kindness we could give. We miss her a lot.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just out of curiosity, is the hairball legal in minor league baseball?
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Cats are emotionless, unintelligent brutes."

If you were to encounter that cat it would likely have the same opinion of you.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (55)
All Comments   (55)
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There were more less 50 cats around the barn growing up and the strangest incident involved a cat and a beagle that became inseparable friends. The beagle got killed by a car and the cat's nature radically changed. He was a jumbo sized black and white Tom but became a loner having nothing to do with other cats. And he waited out by the shed for his friend every evening at sunset for several years. There was nothing you could do but share his sadness. There is much more, I believe, to animals than we generally acknowledge.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tara not only ran toward the dog, she actually gave it a good bump.

"Good bump?" She hit that dog like a linebacker at full steam.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe those of you who think cats don't care have just never had one that was properly socialized to humans during the kitten imprint period (3-7 weeks).

A cat that is socialized right and then treated decently afterwards can be as unconditionally affectionate and responsive as dogs are supposed to be. It helps to pick a sociable breed like the Maine Coon, but even mongrel cats are capable of great affection.

Until less than a month ago my wife and I had a coon-mix cat who loved us deeply and didn't know the meaning of "aloof". She lived to be past 21, and was reliably affectionate to both of us (and random houseguests!) every day of her life. Acute renal failure finally made her so ill we had to euthanize as the last kindness we could give. We miss her a lot.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
You make a good point about imprinting. Perhaps purchasing a pure breed makes a difference. I've had both and find that if you are affectionate toward a cat, they will return the favor.

I currently have a 6 month old Siamese mix who is extremely affectionate and loves to talk. Most polite cat I ever saw - announces his presence whenever he enters a room with a high pitched trilling sound. Does it for our other cats too. He will carry on a conversation with you if you let him.

But like all cats, every once and a while he pretends not to hear his name called. That's what I meant by "aloof."
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I myself never call cats by their names: the names are only for ease of reference when i talk to vets or to friends interested in cats.
In general i tend to talk very little to cats, and then only in a soothing tone, which might explain why they seem to prefer my lap to the lap of their owners.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry for your loss, Eric, and you're absolutely right about very young kittens.

At age 42, I had never had a cat before. I was living in an apartment and became friends with my neighbor's cat. Some weekends I would cat-sit when my neighbor was away. She was mostly an outdoor cat, and eventually she got pregnant. Her kittens were born in my bedroom closet. My neighbor mostly kept them downstairs, but I would get the whole brood on weekends. I got to watch them grow up, and ended up adopting two of them. The neighbor moved away shortly afterwards.

One of my cats died at age 7, but I still have the other one, who is now 14. They were/are incredibly affectionate. I am very, very lucky to have had that experience.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
My sympathies, Eric. I had to put my sweet little 18-year-old Mickey Dee down earlier this year. I'm 60 years old and have lived with cats all my life. Never before have I had a cat who seemed to make it her life's purpose to watch over me and take care of me.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Psst, Bakersfield Blaze, if you have a Tara the Cat shirt or hat, put me down for three of each.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
cat in my avatar will go after dogs that she sees as threatening/aggressive towards me.
when walking around outside if she sees something she doesn't like she'll try to stop me from moving too.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had a cat that would run after any dog that came into our yard. He showed up on my front porch at 2am one fifth of July, about two-months-old. He was definitely feral. Although was socialized over the next 17 years, you had to be very careful around him. A good watch cat. He'd chase after dogs and in every case the dogs would run away, just like the dog in the video.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
That reminds me of a girlfriend who would take her cat inside whenever sheep approached her vacation home: otherwise, her cat would attack the shepherd dogs.
Those dogs could face wolves, but not a cat; and it was a Siamese cat, not a feral cat!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
After throwing out the first pitch the cat will throw up somewhere in the infield, then take a ceremonial dump on the pitcher's mound burying it immediately afterward.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've heard nothing to believe that Tara is a member of OWS.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm still trying to picture a cat throwing a baseball. If it was the size of an acorn, I could picture the cat pushing it around with its paw but the only things I've ever seen a cat throw is a hairball and a fit, neither of which is likely to impress a crowd of baseball fans.

It's too bad a more appropriate group didn't come forward with an offer for Tara's first public experience, like the local cat show.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
My inner feral engineer reckons they are working on some kind of cat activated catapult!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Magnanimous gestures are not, as a rule, part of a cat’s makeup": i tend to agree, but all the same, which animal has contributed more to agriculture? (by making it feasible to store grains and rice.)
And since agriculture was a prerequisite to civilization (whatever Jared Diamond says) which animal has contributed more than the cat to the rise of civilization? No wonder the Egyptians worshipped cats!

Of course cats see things differently: they probably think that we are serfs who provide the fodder for the mice they eat.

As to why cats are more popular pets than dogs: it's probably because cats are low-maintenance. They don't care if you have no time for them. (Though my kittens would wake me up at weekends, when i was getting up late.)
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure I agree about the magnanimous gestures comment. One of my mother's two cats walks her to bed every single night, even though she's slept in that same room for over 50 years and the cat is only two years old.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please note: i wrote that i TEND to agree.
Also note that Rick wrote: as a rule. An important qualification.

As a rule, my kittens would be there purring when i got out of my bedroom (i never let them in) and when i got back home from work.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Attacking an animal three times her size? that's child's play for a cat.
My kittens stood their ground when a friend of mine brought a dog 10 times their size to my place...admittedly my friend's dog was obviously trying to be friends with them, but my kittens reacted the way Ukrainians would react to Putin; and even though they had plenty of hiding places, they stood their ground and tried to scratch the dog's nose when she got too close.

But there are much better examples of feline courage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEFhtwodfbM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVVDuPt-XWQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7znI_Kpzbs
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5067912.stm

And for bigger cats, look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu1by5-BpTA

Also, Jim Corbett wrote that he had "seen a line of elephants that were staunch to tiger turn and stampede from a charging leopard".

Jim Corbett had as much courage as any cat: he stood his ground and shot a charging leopard which had previously killed 400 people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_attack#Leopard_of_Panar
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just out of curiosity, is the hairball legal in minor league baseball?
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Brilliant!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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