Spot (cat)

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Spot was the role of a cat on the television series, Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as in two of the Star Trek movies, Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: Nemesis. He was the pet of Commander Data, an android who sought to become more human but was imperfect in doing so; giving a traditional dog's name to a cat was one example of his imperfection.

Spot was actually played by several cats, and changed in appearance through the seasons. Originally, he was described as male, but, as the episodes progressed, Spot was called "she", and eventually became pregnant in one episode. Her pregnancy provided a critical immune serum that saved the human crew.

While Spot was portrayed as generally unfriendly to other members of the crew, Spot's interactions gave Data the opportunity to comment on human behavior. When Data complained to the ship's engineer, Geordi LaForge, about his difficulty in training Spot, his human friend observed that Spot was actually training Data quite well.

In the episode "Schisms", Data formally delivered the Ode to Spot:[1]

   Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
   An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
   Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
   Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.
   I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
   A singular development of cat communications
   That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
   For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
   A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
   You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
   And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
   It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
   O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
   Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
   And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
   I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend. 

Brent Spiner, who played Commander Data, actually dislikes cats.


  1. Ode to Spot, Memory Alpha (Star Trek Wiki)