Most of us would do anything for our pets: we adjust our homes for them, buy them their favorite foods, and pay for expensive vet bills. Some of us would even put our lives on the line for them without expecting the favor to be returned.
So, for all we do for them, it’s pretty amazing when our furry friends do make a sacrifice for us! And while it’s dogs that are often trained to be helpful and loyal, our feline family members are there for us, too! Just take a look at these incredible cats who saved their owners’ lives…
1. Perche Pearl Camina: This Welsh kitty, and best friend to Alan Nott, started behaving oddly one day. She kept dashing between the gas box and her human, but Alan figured she was begging for more food and ignored it.
In actuality, Perche Pearl Camina, who had a far more sensitive nose than Alan, was trying to alert him to the subtle smell of gas. She eventually passed out in front of the box, and that’s when he noticed. They both made it out alive.
2. Lima: People described her as “the most timid, reclusive animal they’d ever seen,” but Lima eventually found her courage. In 2010, her owner Cherry Woods was in her yard when two dogs viciously knocked her down.
Lima, who was lying in the nearby bushes, lept out, scratched one of the dogs in the face, and hissed at them. It gave Cherry’s husband an opportunity to bring her inside, where everyone turned out to be safe.
3. Meatball: On a beautiful night in southern France, Alexandra Marlin was awoken by the sound of her cat, Meatball, scratching frantically at the floor directly above her room. Wondering what the little rascal was up to, she let down the stairs that led to the attic…
She saw a fire that would soon consume the whole home! Alexandra called the fire department and woke up the other adults and children inside the home. Everyone made it out safely, and they all chipped in for a year’s worth of treats for Meatball.
4. Tommy: As a person with a disability, Gary Rosheisen’s therapy cat Tommy would help out from time to time. However, when Gary fell out of his wheelchair, Tommy did something no one had ever expected.
With the phone out of Gary’s reach, Tommy somehow managed to dial 9-1-1! Luckily, the phone still had buttons because there’s no way this furry friend could have operated an iPhone. Still, how he knew exactly what to do remains a mystery…
5. Smudge: English Tabby Smudge loved his human mom and brothers from the moment he came to live with them. So when three older neighborhood kids started bullying the youngest boy, Ethan, Smudge immediately took action.
When the bullies pushed Ethan to the ground, Smudge jumped at their chests and chased them off! Ethan’s mom said he’d never done anything like that before, and afterwards, he forever slept outside Ethan’s bedroom. What a strong bond!
6. Slinky Malinky: When former nurse Janet Rawlinson had been recovering from back pain, she began to slip in and out of consciousness as a side effect of the morphine. For five days, Janet remained immobile in her living room.
Luckily, her neighbor’s cat, Slinky Malinky, liked to look in through her window. He kept tapping on the glass, but she wouldn’t wake up, so he eventually went to get his owner, who had a spare key. Thanks to this peeping Tomcat, Janet is still with us!
7. Pudding: After years of being in and out of the local humane society, Pudding finally found a home with Amy Jung and her son, Ethan. During his first night at home, Amy had a diabetic seizure in her sleep, so he nipped her face until she woke up and called Ethan.
However, she was too quiet for him to hear from his room, so Pudding pounced into his room and jumped on the bed until Ethan woke up and could call for help — just in time. Thanks to Pudding, Amy’s life was saved. He is now a certified therapy cat.
8. Sally: At 1:00 AM on a Monday in 2014, Australian local Craig Geeves was sawing logs in bed when he suddenly realized that his cat Sally was completely losing her marbles, standing on top of his head.
That’s when Craig noticed the smoke in the room. Without hesitation, Craig grabbed Sally and ran out of the burning house. They may have lost all of their possessions that night, but Craig was happy to still have Sally by his side.
9. Masha: Somewhere on a street in Russia, a cardboard box was left out in the middle of winter. When a woman spotted it, it seemed only to contain a cat who was meowing at her. But that wasn’t the case.
Somebody had abandoned their baby in the box, too! When Masha the cat spotted the freezing child, she tried to keep him warm, which ended up saving his life. It’s a good thing cats like boxes so much!
11. Opie: One night in York, Pennsylvania, Angelica Sipe and her 3-year-old son Daemire had fallen asleep in the living room, when out of nowhere, a bullet shot through the window, straight towards the dreaming boy.
The bullet went through a couch cushion before hitting their cat, Opie, who had moved in front of Daemire. It struck his head and eventually came out of his ribs. Angelica was eternally grateful and spent all her money to save Opie’s life in return.
12. Tara: This gorgeous Tabby cat was a California native who, one day, wound up in front of Mr. and Mrs. Triantafilo in Bakersfield. It was love at first sight. The cat followed them home, and they adopted her.
The name “Tara” was short for Zatara, the name smugglers gave to Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo. The smugglers said it meant driftwood, which fit the kitty perfectly, as she had been adrift for a while before finding this new family.
While rescue cats can often turn out really skittish, Tara was friendly to every single person and animal she met. When asked about her, Roger, her human dad, said that “the neighbor kids come over and play with her. She even gets along with our dog, Maya.”
The cat seemed most fond of the family’s oldest son Jeremy. “Jeremy and Tara spend a lot of time walking around and talking with one another,” Roger said. “If Jeremy falls off his bike, she comes running. If he starts crying, she comes running.”
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On a sunny day in May of 2014, when Jeremy was only 4 years old, he went outside to play on his new bike. He was learning to ride without training wheels. Jeremy stayed close to the house so his mother could watch him through the window.
That afternoon, the neighbor’s dog was loose and heard Jeremy biking next door. At first, it seemed like the 8-month-old pup was only curious and wanted to play with the young boy, but things quickly took a very dark turn.
Out of nowhere, the dog became aggressive, and it attacked 4-year-old Jeremy who never saw it coming. The pup, named Scrappy, bit straight into Jeremy’s leg and shook him around until he was dragged off of his bike!
But Tara had witnessed everything, and although she was a peaceful cat, she was NOT about to let anybody mess with her best friend. Without a second of hesitation, she ran towards the much larger dog!
Thankfully, Tara’s act of bravery worked. She not only got the dog to let go of Jeremy, but she chased him off before quickly returning to check on her BFF. In the meantime, Jeremy’s mom Erica had become aware of the situation and ran to her son’s side, unable to believe what had just happened.
While Tara was able to fight off the danger, Jeremy had still been bitten by the dog. He was immediately rushed to the hospital to assess the damage to his leg and get Rabies shots, as the family suspected that Scrappy might have been rabid.
Roger and Erica Triantafilo were so proud of their favorite feline friend that they uploaded the security camera footage of her heroism to YouTube, where it got over 20 million views in less than 5 days. This had never been done before!
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Jeremy needed some time to recover from the attack, but he was able to enjoy Tara’s company the entire time. In the following months, they only grew closer as he showed his gratitude to her with infinite pets. “She is my hero,” he said about his kitty companion.
It wasn’t long before everyone in Bakersfield had heard of Tara’s heroism; one by one they came by the house to see their local hero and leave the family some flowers and kitty treats. She received even more attention when a minor league baseball team, the Bakersfield Blaze, sent Tara some VIP tickets to their next game…
Tara received the honor of being the game’s MVC — most valuable cat — and was asked to throw the first pitch (not easy with paws). Clearly, even Tara was confused by this request, although she and the Triantafilos greatly appreciated the gesture.
Although Tara wasn’t very skilled at throwing the first pitch, the town was in awe of her and called her family in for a very special town hall meeting. There, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 3 Tara the Hero Cat Day!
A few months later, Tara received an award usually only presented to military dogs: the Blue Tiger Award, one of the biggest honors for four-legged heroes.
Because the video earned so many views, Tara was awarded the Special Award For Cat Achievement by the Cat Vid Festival — arguably one of the greatest festivals in the history of time!
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While she would probably be happy with rewards like treats or cuddles, Tara accepted her new fame and honor gracefully. On June 19, 2015, the little hero became the very first cat who won the Los Angeles SPCA’s “Hero Dog” award.
Since the award had never been presented to a feline friend before, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals actually had to cross out the word “dog” and etch in the word “cat” instead. Luckily, Tara didn’t really seem to mind.
The best part of winning the Annual National Hero Dog Cat Award? Tara also won a year-long supply of cat food! If we could ask her about all her gifts, we’re pretty sure this one is ultimately her favorite.