updated 05/15/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/15/2014 AT 3:45 PM ET
The cat’s out of the bag.
The family of the “hero cat” – a Southwest Bakersfield, California, pet who bravely jumped on a dog attacking a boy in a rescue caught on security cameras – talked about its fearless feline on Today on Thursday.
“I’d never seen a dog just shake a child like that and so violently,” says the boy’s mother, Erica Triantafilo. “I thought he had a hold of his pants. It wasn’t until I got there that I really saw that no, he had a hold of Jeremy.”
But before she even had a chance to run to her son’s rescue, Tara the cat came bounding through the air and onto the dog’s back.
“The next thing I know, I see my cat flying out of nowhere, onto this dog,” she describes. “I just remember trying to get my son and get the dog away and back in its yard, away from both of us that it was trying to attack.”
After rushing their son to the hospital, where he received 10 stitches, the boy’s father couldn’t believe the tale and decided to check security footage to see if he could witness the cat’s incredible bravery.
“It was pretty amazing to see just a cat take on a dog and so selflessly just put herself out there and not worry about if she was going to get bit or injured herself,” says Roger Triantafilo of the video, which has nearly 8 million views on YouTube. “I think that dog did not know what hit him.”