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Cats and dogs ruled the headlines this year. Among them were Bentley the quarantined Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Tara the hero cat and a rescued dog who made it to the big
leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers — just to name a few.
We checked in on these famous animals to find out what they've been up to since we last saw them.
We hear about lots of hero dogs, but a feline in California captured the
world’s attention in May when she ran off a dog who was attacking her family’s
4-year-old, Jeremy Triantafilo. His mom, Erika, was watering a nearby tree when
the neighbor’s dog escaped a gated driveway and attacked the boy. The whole
thing was caught on surveillance video, and Tara the cat was hailed as a hero for
saving the boy.
Since then, Tara has had lots of honors, including an official
recognition from the California State Senate, an award from The Cat Fanciers' Association and the chance to
“throw” the first pitch at a minor league baseball game. This month, Tara was
the grand marshal of the Christmas parade in her hometown of Bakersfield, California.
Aside from her awards, day-to-day life has returned to normal for the
famous feline, but her family will never forget her bravery. “We've had some opportunities to meet amazing people and visit some
great places throughout the last six months. They are lifelong memories that
we'll cherish,” the family told us in an email. “Every
chance we have to show how much we appreciate her, she is loved on. She is very
happy in our home.”
This little dog’s story sounds like it’s right out of Hollywood. Last
spring, when the Milwaukee
Brewers were training in Phoenix, a lost Bichon Frise mix wandered
onto the field while the team was practicing. The whole club fell
head over heels for the pup they named Hank (after
Hank Aaron), and they made him a member of the team. After he was cleaned up and
had a trip to the vet, Hank headed to Milwaukee to live with the Brewers’ chief
legal counsel and her family. That’s when the fans fell for Hank, too.
“He’s become a very popular fixture with the organization,” says Tyler
Barnes, the Brewers’ vice president of communications. “All around town, there
are Hank T-shirts and dog sweaters and Hank dog bowls.” Hank merchandise also
includes stuffed versions of the pup, who’s about 2 years old, and ornaments.
Hank attended about 15 games last season, but the team is careful not
to push him too far. “The experience sometimes can be a little overwhelming, because wherever he goes, he’s recognized,” Barnes says. The Brewers have
worked closely with The Humane Society to ensure Hank is comfortable with his
Hank is making a few off-season appearances, including wearing a Santa suit to deliver toys and treats to animals at the Wisconsin Humane Society this month. And
Barnes says a vacation to Phoenix for spring training isn’t out of the
question. “We’re kicking it around. I think it’s possible he’ll make a trip
Everyone’s favorite sourpuss reached new levels of stardom this year. Over the summer, Grumpy Cat made
a cameo on the finale of The Bachelorette with Andi Dorfman, who
was known on the show for making her own frowny face. She also came out with a book, The Grumpy Guide to Life, which was featured on an Associated Press list of cat books that make perfect Christmas gifts.
But so far the crowning
achievement for her growing empire might be the debut of her Lifetime movie, Grumpy
Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, which aired in late November. After that, a
British tabloid reported that the feline phenomenon was worth
$100 million — but Grumpy’s owner, Tabatha
Bundesen, quickly refuted that figure, calling it “completely inaccurate.”
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