Pit bulls often get a bad rap for being known as an aggressive breed, but for the pet owners who love them, they are better known for their sweet, playful demeanor and unconditional loyalty. Few stories illustrate the soft side of pit bulls better than this one about Jack the dog and his unlikely companion, Kitty, reports Fox 13 News in Tampa.

The story is particularly unusual in that Kitty, as her name hints, is a cat. It's a fact that Jack, a rescued pit bull, compassionately overlooks. To him, she's just a friend.

The connection between the two might be rooted in their shared past. Both are rescued animals.

"He probably feels like he's the caretaker. He checks on her every day and sniffs her, seeing what kind of shape she is in," said Sherree Lewis, a Florida resident and owner of the two pets.

Jack's role as caretaker was recently put to the ultimate test, after an experience that might be every pet owner's worst nightmare. On her way out the door one day, Lewis caught a glimpse of two coyotes in her yard. She watched in horror as the two animals battled furiously over some captured prey; It was Kitty.

"One had her by the neck and the other had her by the tail," she recalled.

Before Lewis could shriek, however, Jack was on them, racing to Kitty's rescue.

"I didn't know Jack could run that fast. He was on them so fast," she said.

The coyotes dropped Kitty as Jack fought them off, and as soon as the coast was clear, Lewis rushed the wounded cat to the hospital. Kitty was badly wounded, but she was alive. Aside from multiple lacerations, she had at least one broken tooth and was diagnosed with brain swelling.

Though she still has trouble walking, Kitty has made a miraculous recovery given the circumstances. Jack, of course, rarely leaves her side. Lewis says he is constantly keeping guard.

Lewis also has little doubt that Jack knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn't just protecting his territory — he was saving a friend's life.

"Jack is a hero," she said. "He saved the kitty's life and he just shows how good dogs can be. Big dogs can protect you, especially if something like this happens."

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Pit bull saves cat from hungry coyotes
Dogs and cats are supposed to be mortal enemies, but Jack the pit bull would risk everything to save his feline friend, Kitty.