Four-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo was playing on his bike in his front yard in Bakersfield, California on Tuesday. And out of nowhere, the neighbor's dog ATTACKED him . . . latched onto his leg . . . and pulled him off the bike.

But before it could get a LOT worse, Jeremy was rescued . . . by Tara, the family CAT. She came running over, gave the dog a full-body check, chased it off, then came BACK to check on Jeremy. By then Jeremy's mom was there too.