Tara saved her 6-year-old owner from a dog attack in May 2014

By Kelli Bender
Updated June 22, 2015 04:55 PM

This world’s going to the cats.

On Friday, Tara, the loyal feline who saved her 6-year-old owner with autism from being attacked by a dog in May 2014, became the first cat to receive the Los Angeles SPCA’s Hero Dog Award, reports The Associated Press.

The brave tabby was honored for body-slamming the large, aggressive dog who had latched on to Jeremy Triantafilo’s leg, and chasing it away.

“We were so impressed by Tara’s bravery and fast action that the selection committee decided that a cat this spectacular should be the National Hero Dog,” said Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.

The shelter presented its 33rd annual Hero Dog award to the family in downtown Los Angeles, but there was something different about Tara’s prize. The SPCA jokingly scratched out the word “dog” on the award, etching in the word “cat” over it.

The heroism hasn’t stopped. Tara has continued to vigilantly watch over her best friend Jeremy since the attack.

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“The neighbor kids come over and play with her. Dogs walk by all the time. She gets along fine with our dog, Maya. But if Jeremy falls off his bike, she comes running. If he starts crying, she comes running,” Roger Triantafilo, Jeremy’s dad, said.

“She is my hero,” Jeremy added.