11 January 2013


In the science fiction series Star Trek ~ The Next Generation, one of the principal characters is a sentient android named Data, serving aboard the starship USS Enterprise.  Data was created to replicate a fully functioning human, but was deprived of an emotion chip.  Hence during much of the series, he tries earnestly to understand (even emulate) human emotional behavior.

Enter Spot, a cat adopted by Data.  Spot is an independent sort, even by cat standards.  Data is the only member of the crew to whom he becomes attached.  The whimsical relationship between two species so alien to each other is at times deeply poignant.

During one episode, Data composed a poem dedicated to Spot.  Here it is, as only Data could express it  ~

Ode to Spot

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.

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