To The Rescue! Hero Cats Who Saved Children
By: Sarah Beauchemin
Ever since Mick and Bethany welcomed Faye into their family last November, Oskar and Klaus have been the epitome of kindness, love, and patience with her. It’s fascinating to experience the inherent tolerance the duo has for their baby sister’s wiggles, bear hugs, and squeals of delight. They recognize Faye’s innocence and understand she’s harmless.
But cats are more than just the tolerant subjects of childrens’ glee: they are also their fierce protectors.
For example, everyone knows the story of Tara, the hero cat who saved her owners’ child Jeremy from a vicious dog attack last year. Her story was, in part, so incredible because most people were shocked that a cat was capable of such a valiant act.
Yet numerous cats have saved their humans from mortal peril; more specifically, they’ve rescued children in danger, who they know are helpless. These stories will have you shaking your head at those ludicrous old-timey superstitions about cats being harmful to kids!
Image copyright unknown
When Tara followed the Triantafilo family home from a local park in Bakersfield in 2008, she was just a lost kitten. But she quickly grew into a secure member of family: “Tara loved her small humans, allowing them to pull, push, carry, and sometimes sit on her, never hissing or scratching at them even once.” This adoration for her human children was brought into focus in May 2014, when she saved Jeremy from the jaws of an attacking dog. He sustained deep bite wounds and required ten stitches; but the Triantafilos stated that if it weren’t for Tara’s gallant behavior, it could’ve been much worse.
Image copyright RuptlyTV
Masha, a homeless tabby cat, saved an abandoned infant from freezing to death when she came upon him asleep in a cardboard box outside an apartment building in Moscow. Sensing the infant was still alive, Masha crawled on top of him to keep him warm. She dutifully remained with the baby until her urgent meows finally woke one of the tenants, who came outside to discover the cat and the contents of the box.
Image copyright Joanna Hufton/Mercury Press
Five-year-old Ethan was playing in his yard when a group of bullies appeared and began to harass him. When one of the boys pushed Ethan to the ground, Ethan’s cat Smudge flew out from under the car and attacked the boy’s chest. Sharon, Ethan’s mother, says that she feels much safer with Smudge in the house, and that he’s “a big part of the family and is more of a brother to the boys than a cat.”
Image copyright Christopher Thomond/Guardian
There’s more than one way to save a life, and Jessi-Cat demonstrates how. Her devoted companionship and affection helped now 10-year old Lorcan Dillon, who suffers from the anxiety disorder selective mutism, find his voice. Due to the severity of his disorder, Lorcan was paralyzed from speaking outside his home, particularly at school. But as soon as Lorcan’s family adopted Jessi, that changed. Lorcan’s mother says his confidence in all areas of life has increased as his relationship with Jessi-Cat has blossomed. Lorcan has also told Jessi “I love you,” three words he’s not yet been able to say to anyone else.
Image copyright Josh Ornberg
Baby, a thirteen-year-old timid cat who rarely had interaction with her family, had a change in behavior when her “parents” Josh and Letitia became pregnant with twins. One night while the duo slept soundly, the house began to fill with smoke. Baby leapt on top of the sleeping pair and began to meow loudly, alerting them to the house fire. Josh admits that if it weren’t for Baby, the couple and their unborn children could’ve perished.
6. “Alligator Cat”
This video shows one fearless cat, protecting her human family’s children against not one, but two alligators. Each time the alligators try to come up on the land, the cat chases them back into the water. Remarkable!
Honorable Mention: “Babysitter Cat”
In this video, a babysitter plays with a child in the living room. A glass breaks, and the family cat presumably hears the commotion (there’s no audio) and comes running. The cat, perceiving the babysitter as the source of the child’s fear, begins to attack and push her away from the child. While this is quite unfortunate for the poor babysitter who did nothing wrong, the video demonstrates the depth of this cat’s protective nature.
Fictional Hero: General
Image copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Cat’s Eye, a 1985 film based on Stephen King stories, features General, a hero cat unlike any other: one who protects a little girl, Amanda (Drew Barrymore), against an evil troll who lives inside her bedroom wall. The troll repeatedly attempts to kill Amanda, but General chases him back into his lair each time. Amanda’s parents think General is to blame for her terror, and they banish him outside. With General out of the way, the troll nearly succeeds in his final attempt to kill the girl, but the cat finds his way back inside and destroys the troll, leaving his shredded remains all over her floor.
Hey, it’s better than a mouse’s entrails...right?