Happy National Pet Day! It might be comforting to know that according to Star Trek, pets will continue to be very much a part of the lives of humans (or whoever) even in the future.
Pets can provide emotional support to the staunchest Vulcan. They can warm the heart of the most no-nonsense captain. They can provide beauty, serenity, cuddles, companionship – or in the case of the occasional villain, they can assist with whatever evil needs doing.
So here to help celebrate National Pet Day, here are the top 12 pets of Star Trek.
12. Reginald Barclay’s cat Neelix (VOY)
After Barclay transfers to the Pathfinder Project back on Earth, he obtains a cat and names it Neelix after the Talaxian crew member onboard the Voyager. Neelix the cat enjoys it when Deanna Troi comes to visit Barclay, mostly because he gets to steal some of her chocolate ice cream. Even future cats are total opportunists!
11. Dr. Phlox’s Pyrithian bat (ENT)
Dr. Phlox keeps a Pyrithian bat, and while musing about the human affinity for pets, he realizes that he himself, a Denobulan, has developed some feelings of affection for his bat. He even talks to it.
10. Miles O’Brien’s Lycosian tarantula Christina (TNG)
Chief O’Brien talks to Lt. Barclay about his previous fear of spiders in an attempt to sympathize with Barclay about his fear of transporters. He later introduces his pet Christina the Lycosian tarantula to Barclay in Ten Forward. Christina climbs onto Barclay’s arm while Miles goes to get a drink. Although Barclay has no phobia of spiders, he kind of wants her to get off his arm.
9. Commander Kruge’s Monster Dog (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
There is perhaps no pet more loyal than Klingon Commander Kruge’s bridge companion from Star Trek III. Often confused with the more well known Klingon pet, the targ, Kruge’s pet was actually credited as a ‘monster dog.’ If you wanted to work your way up the ranks in the classic Klingon fashion, you would have to deal with this so-ugly-it-was-cute snarling beast before you got your knife into Kruge’s back.
8. Mr. Scott’s tribble (Star Trek 2009)
Mr. Scott has a tribble in a cage at the Starfleet outpost at Delta Vega. The little guy isn’t much more than an Easter egg for fans of the original Star Trek series, but it’s certainly adorable. And, of course, we will see even more tribbles in Star Trek Into Darkness when the fur balls serve as some much needed inspiration for McCoy to save the day in the end.
7. Khan Noonian Singh’s Ceti Eels (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Yuck. Ceti Eels, as introduced by Khan himself, are “…Ceti Alpha V’s only remaining indigenous lifeform.” While calling them pets, Khan admits they aren’t exactly domesticated. However, they are quite useful for a little coercion via the ear canal.
6. Captain Janeway’s dog Mollie (VOY)
Captain Janeway rescued Mollie the Irish Setter from a pound on Taurus Seti 4. Before her assignment to the Voyager, Janeway asks her then-fiancee Mark Johnson to take care of the dog, who was about to give birth to puppies. She has a photo of Mark and Mollie in her ready room aboard the ship.
5. Captain Picard’s fish Livingston (TNG)
Livingston is a lionfish Captain Picard keeps in his ready room in a spherical aquarium. The fish seems to be a source of fascination for such visitors as Hugh of Borg and even the unflappable Q. Amazingly, Livingston’s aquarium, and Livingston, survive the crash of the Enterprise-D on the planet Veridian. Livingston the fish was apparently named for David Livingston, the Star Trek producer and director.
4. Spock’s sehlat I’Chaya (TOS, TAS)
In the TOS episode “Journey to Babel,” Spock’s mother reveals that as as child Spock had a pet sehlat, which was sort of like a fat teddy bear. Spock clarifies this “teddy bear” had six inch fangs. In the animated Star Trek series episode “Yesteryear” we learn that the sehlat’s name is I’Chaya, and he is actually pretty much a fat teddy bear. Due to some time-travel shenanigans, Spock the adult and I’Chaya save Spock the child, although I’Chaya doesn’t survive. But Spock the child learns an important lesson about the acceptance of death and decides he wants to follow the teachings of Surak as a result, which kind of bums out his mother.
3. Captain Archer’s dog Porthos (ENT)
Captain Archer’s beagle Porthos follows him from Earth to his assignment on the Enterprise NX-01. T’Pol, with her sensitive Vulcan nose, has a difficult time being around Porthos due to his doggy smell. Fortunately Dr. Phlox is able to formulate a nasal numbing agent so she can tolerate being around the dog and his smitten owner. Porthos has a special fondness for cheese, but has problems digesting it. Like many owners, however, Captain Archer can’t always say no to those puppy dog eyes.
2. Lt. Uhura’s tribble (and eventually the rest of the Enterprise’s) (TOS)
Tribbles again? Yes it’s more tribble trouble! During shore leave on Deep Space Station K7, Uhura purchases a sweet little tribble from trader Cyrano Jones. She falls in love with its furry little round body and alluring purr and brings it back to the Enterprise, where it immediately begins making an unlimited amount of little baby tribbles. Soon Uhura is giving away tribble babies to other eager crew members, and before you know it the ship is infested with the things. A highly-irritated Captain Kirk demands they get rid of every last tribble. Mr. Scott transports all of them over to a Klingon ship, which may have made for an unfortunate end to the critters since Klingons and tribbles despise each other, but Klingons are bigger.
1. Data’s cat Spot (TNG)
Data’s cat Spot is an important part of Data’s quest to be more human. In Generations we even see our favorite android shed a tear at the thought of loosing his orange companion. Even long before his emotion chip, Data was already acting like a proper cat owner, mostly by torturing others with requests to watch Spot when he is out of town coupled with endless tales of how great the cat is. Take for example what is perhaps Mr. Data’s most famous work of written prose:
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.
– From “Ode to Spot” by Data
Share your pet, win a cat book
Do you have a furry friend that resembles a Star Trek character? TrekMovie is running a contest to win a copy of the new “Star Trek Cats” book. To enter post a link to a picture of your pet in the comments section of that article or reply to @trekmovie on Twitter with a photo of your pet and the hashtag #trekcats.
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