Tara first gains fame on YouTube. But after this feline hero meets Jackson Galaxy, she becomes even more of a celebrity. Here’s why.

Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy was determined to visit cat hero Tara and her human family
Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy was determined to visit cat hero Tara and her human family

Pet Parents Learn About Animal Heroism

If you’ve never seen a cat bodyslam a dog that is harming a child, you’re about to. This is an incident I wrote about last year but it actually occurred in May of 2014, several years before I even thought about launching a blog site. Although the main purpose of this endeavor is to help people caring for dogs and cats become the best pet parent possible, the range of topics has widened. I decided to introduce a little humor, as well as talk about working dogs and animal heroism. 

Now, when it comes to saving human lives, we usually think of dog heroes. However, what totally surprised me was discovering the stories of cats and their amazing heroic actions. And this brings me back to the story at hand.

A Timeline Of Tara’s Counterattack 

But before I show you the video of when Jackson Galaxy visits cat hero Tara, let me fill you in briefly about what Tara did exactly.

Four-year old Jeremy Triantafilo was happily riding his bike in the driveway of his home in Bakersfield, CA. A neighbor’s dog suddenly appears and is seen running up from behind the boy. It bites him in the leg and starts to pull him backwards. 

Adopted, indoor/outdoor tabby cat Tara hears the commotion and races into action. At full speed she runs towards the much larger canine and bodyslams it. Tara chases the dog away. Jeremy’s mother rushes outside to rescue her son. The little boy requires emergency medical attention. He needs 10 stitches to his left calf. But let’s remember one thing; the outcome could have been much worse.

For the very first time, a Los Angeles shelter’s Hero Dog award went to a cat!
For the very first time, a Los Angeles shelter’s Hero Dog award went to a cat!

Tara’s YouTube Sensation

As the above incident unfolded, it was all captured on the home surveillance video. Two days later, Jeremy’s dad decided to post it on YouTube and it was seen by viewers across the globe. In fact, it became a viral phenomenon for being the first video in YouTube history to reach 20 million views in just five days!

Renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy was one of those viewers and saw the video multiple times. I am guessing he was so impressed by Tara’s split-second reaction and determination, that he decided he had to meet her. It was just a question of how to fit the trip into his exceedingly busy schedule. Finally he was able to work something out so that he and his crew could go to southern California.

Cat Hero Tara Meets Jackson Galaxy

So, eventually, three years later, Tara and Jackson meet and together they film a segment for the phenomenally famous television show on Animal Planet. Of course, Tara was not included in the behavior rehabilitation series called My Cat From Hell. Rather she now forms part of an exclusive roster of animal heroes in the section entitled My Cat From Heaven. It, too, is available on YouTube and here it is for all to see. Enjoy!

Jackson Galaxy went to California to film feline hero Tara so she could appear on his acclaimed Animal Planet television show in the segment “My Cat From Heaven”

Another Must-Read Article About Tara

Click here for the full story about Tara. It includes her appearance on The Today Show and some of the awards she has received for her bravery http://petpeevesunmasked.com/cat-hero-attacks-dog-attacking-boy/

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe! 


When it comes to the topic of how a cat’s DNA affects behavior, I don’t know a single person who is more knowledgeable. Who am I referring to? None other than the amazing Jackson Galaxy. 

You probably already know him from his enormously successful tv show “My Cat From Hell.” In addition to that, he has authored several best-selling books. And, you may have heard, too, about and his impactful advocacy work across the USA. 

Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Play hunting and chasing provide important physical and mental benefits
Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Enrichment through play hunting and chasing provides important physical and mental benefits

A Jackson Galaxy Term

Jackson Galaxy often uses the term “raw cat,” which describes what all felines are pre-programmed to do. If you haven’t already realized what it actually means, please take note. I can’t stress enough how important this is. After all, if you want to understand what your cat does and why, it really is fundamental. So, let’s take a look at a cat’s usual 24-hour behavior cycle.

First of all NAP


  Next comes HUNT

 Followed by CATCH


And, of course EAT

 After all this is GROOM

Final full circle NAP

Wild And Not So Wild

I wonder if you’ve ever spent time observing wild cats, either in their natural habitat or at a sanctuary somewhere. And, if you’ve also noticed how all domesticated cats have a lot of characteristics in common. There are some striking similarities between the two, aren’t there? That’s because genetics determine how felines act, both in the wild, and in the home.

My point here is that in order to understand why our companion felines act the way they do, we need to look at their ancestors. And, this is the work that zoologists and other animal experts have done in the past and continue to do even today. As a result of their research, we are now able to provide a better quality of life for the animals we care for at home.

Let me give you a brief example. As we already know, wild cats, from the biggest species (Siberian Tiger) down to the smallest (Rusty-Spotted Cat), are hunters. They hunt for survival and spend many hours, every single day, doing precisely that. As for domesticated cats, when given the opportunity, they will behave in a similar fashion. They, too, love to hunt, kill and eat size-appropriate prey, such as lizards and mice. This is instinct. It’s in their DNA. That’s what cats do!

Play Hunting Activity For Indoor Cats

There are a number of ways you can get involved to enrich their life once you figure out how a cat’s DNA affects its behavior. Below are some suggestions and explanations so that your felines can satisfy their prewired hunting instincts and skills. Try to give them several play/workout sessions each day.

The Activities 

What cats love to do. They delight in running, pouncing, jumping,  chasing, searching and batting.

The Tools 

Mostly inexpensive, here are a few ideas to fulfill your cat’s activity needs. There are throw toys that make a noise, and wands with dangling objects. Plus, a laser beam never fails to give enjoyment. 

How about some interactive toys? For example, balls that spin and roll around on a track. Or a play station for pushing, poking and moving objects. Also, if your budget allows, a multi-level cat tower will give Felix and Fluffy multiple options to jump, bat, be on the look out, and even snooze. 

The Benefits

Finally, but most importantly, are the physical and mental benefits of keeping cats occupied and free from boredom. They result from the combination of activities and tools I already mentioned. In just a few words, they include cardiovascular health, agility, reflex acuity, muscle tone, and mental stimulation. 

To Sum Up

The message throughout my blog is that genetics determine how felines act. I now hope that pet parents who didn’t fully realize what all felines are pre-programmed to do, can make some meaningful changes. Love manifests itself in enrichment so that their companions can enjoy active and purposeful lives. 

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

Another must-read article in this category.

What dogs and cats are really telling you: https://petpeevesunmasked.com/how-pets-feel-and-act/