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Cat will throw first pitch, another lands football recruit

Published May 16, 2014 8:03 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bobcats, Wildcats and even Bearcats.

Feline mascots are synonymous with sports, but a pair of cats took their role in baseball and football to another level this week.

First up is "Tara," a cat from Bakersfield that rescued a 4-year-old boy from a neighbor's dog Tuesday. The dog attacked the boy, biting his leg before the cat pounced on the dog, chasing it away.

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For her display of heroism, Tara will "throw" out the ceremonial first pitch at the Bakersfield Blaze, the Cincinati Reds' single-A affiliate, on May 20. Not sure what kind of heat a cat can put on a four-seam fastball, but we'll apparently find out next week.

Second is "Kitty," who helped Rice University land a football recruit after the school's co-offensive coordinator sent the cat its own recruiting letter.

According to the Houston Chronicle, quarterback J.T. Granato committed to Rice on Thursday following a recruiting letter to the family's pet that read in part: "As you know we're trying to convince J.T. Rice is the place for him. I know you'd like to keep him close so he can feed you and change the litter box. Please help us to get him to choose us. Paw me if you have any questions."

Granato's father sent out a tweet of his son and cat to commend Rice's coaching staff for their creativity.

Too bad Rice's mascot is an owl, it would be fun to see Kitty prowling the sidelines this fall.

-Brennan Smith

bsmith@sltrib.com

Twitter: @BrennanJSmith