Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Spot (Star Trek)
In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Spot is Data's pet cat. His attempts to train the cat were comical as she would never listen. Although Data could not feel love for Spot (prior to the events of Star Trek: Generations), he did care for her well. When Data had to leave, his attempts to place the cat in someone else's care provided a source of humor. Commander Riker once received serious scratch marks from Spot. Commander LaForge's attempts to take care of Spot also met with little success. When Data once asked Worf to take care of Spot, Worf proved to be allergic to her.
Data created several hundred different food supplements for Spot and composed an elaborate ode in Spot's honor. In the seventh-season episode "Genesis", a genetic disease caused Spot to mutate into an iguana.
Spot originally appeared as a Somali cat, but she later became a normal house cat. Spot also changed sex from male to female, giving birth to kittens in "Genesis". These inconsistencies are probably cases of bad continuity, although the editors of the Star Trek Encyclopedia humorously proposed that Spot may have been a shape-shifter.
Ode to Spot
Data's ode to Spot, in the episode "Schisms."
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 sub-vocal 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
Spot appears in several episodes throughout the last four seasons of the Next Generation, first appearing in the Season 4 episode "Data's Day".
Altogether there have been 3 cats used to play the role of Spot.
Geordi and Data are discussing Data's attempts to train Spot.
Data: I suppose I must accept that possibility. It may be that Spot lacks the intelligence necessary to learn the appropriate responses to my commands.
Spot looks up at Data.
Data takes a ball of yarn from his cabinet and lets Spot begin to play with it.
Geordi: I don't know about Spot, but your training is coming along just fine. Let's go.
Data is confined to quarters after attacking Counselor Troi in the episode Phantasms.
Data: May I ask a personal favor?
Data: Will you take care of Spot for me?
Worf: Your animal?
Data: I am concerned that if I have another waking dream, I may injure him.
Worf: Of course. Spot, Come here.
Data: Unlike a canine, Spot will not respond to verbal commands.
Data picks up Spot and hands him to Worf, who is not quite sure how to handle the cat.
Data: Goodbye, Spot. He will need to be fed once a day. He prefers feline supplement one-twenty-five.
Worf: I understand.
Data: And he will require water. And you must also provide him with a sand box. And you must talk to him. Tell him he is a pretty cat, and a good cat...
Worf cuts him off.
Worf: I will... feed him.
Data: Perhaps that will be enough.
Worf turns around and walks out of Data's quarters. He makes it as far as the door before sneezing.
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