Thank you, Tara the hero cat!

Finally, after years of just lying there blinking idly, cats have proved worthy of our years of loyalty and worship. This cat singlehandedly (single-pawedly?) saved a child from the attack of a vicious dog. Here’s video footage:

(Yes, I know that there is more important news to be discussed. Pop stars are fighting in elevators, and instead, we are sitting here staring at this video of a cat. How like the Internet!)

But cats have earned this moment in the sun. (Cats love a good moment in the sun.)

Too long, dogs have gotten all the media attention, whether they earned it or not. Never mind how sinister some of them seemed. Lassie? Have you noticed how she always seems to be conveniently around when someone falls into a well? Old Yeller? Rabid. Clifford? Communist.

Usually the headlines break down something like this: “Hero Dog Drags Owner From Burning Building.” “Hero Dog Summons Help For Drowning Owner.” “Hero Dog Leads Stranded Hiker To Safety.”

“Hero Cat Sits There Looking Regal While Owner Chokes On Seafood And Dies.” “Hero Cat Lured To Scene By Scent of Tuna.” “Hero Cat Sleeps Through Commotion.”

Cats have been maligned to the point that “cat hero” sounds like an oxymoron. But it isn’t, as Sally Kohn points out over at CNN.com:

Tara is a hero to cats and cat lovers everywhere, tired of being upstaged by the bigger, brawnier, droolier pets who can’t even manage to use a litter box.
Let’s hope Tara inspires a generation of cat heroes around the globe — as well as the rest of us, including those in children’s literature and Hollywood — so we no longer see cats just as lazy, fat Garfield-style layabouts, but ferocious, fierce daredevils.

I concur!

Cats are just as good as dogs. Cats are just as smart as dogs. The fact that the cat is the National Animal of the Internet has always delighted me. Cats don’t demand that you escort them outdoors in the wee hours of the night when it is pouring down rain so that they can stare at a tree with sort of a wistful expression and not do any business. Cats don’t warmly and enthusiastically greet people who have shown up at the door unannounced to sell you goods or religions, the way dogs do, even and especially when you are trying to get those people to go away.

Cats don’t fart loudly and wake themselves up in a state of panic. Cats, in general, possess a certain dignity that dogs lack. Dogs will fawn over anyone. Cats ignore most people. Of the two, I would say that cats have the correct approach.

And now, after years of acting superior, cats have finally done something to prove it. All hail cats! Well done, Tara!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.