“Star Trek” has had quite a few real-world animals “act” on the show through the years. One of the most famous animal characters in the franchise is the companion of Captain Jonathan Archer’s on “Star Trek: Enterprise.”
The beagle named Porthos was a fun addition to the ship’s crew and was actually portrayed by three different dogs. Their names were Prada, Breezy, and Windy. Porthos was such a beloved character that he was even mentioned in “Star Trek (2009)” as the reason why Scotty (Simon Pegg) was in big trouble.
“Star Trek” stands out in a way because, unlike many other science fiction franchises, many of the animals featured on the show are from Earth and not from alien worlds. In fact, in the very first episode of “Star Trek,” which fans know was chopped up and repurposed into the two-part episodes of “The Menagerie,” Captain Pike longed to get back to Earth to care for his horses. The Talosians even created horses for Pike to interact with, in an attempt to coax him to start a life in their “zoo.”
Cats on ‘Star Trek’
Though horses and dogs have had their share of the spotlight, it might be that cats are the real animal stars of “Star Trek.” Most fans know that Mr. Data (Brent Spiner) had a pet cat named Spot, featured in quite a few “Next Generation” episodes.
The feline alien Lt. M’Ress was a recurring character on “The Animated Series.” Writer and cat lover Sherilyn Connelly said that the Catian M’Ress was a “significant” character for her growing up. There are even books featuring cats wearing Starfleet uniforms. The “Star Trek Cats” calendar is a top seller on Amazon.
… And Their Mysterious Powers
Some of these cats, like Isis on “Assignment: Earth” and Sylvia on “Catspaw,” were shape-shifters and could transform from feline to human female form when it suited their needs. One fan supposed that this might be the same case for the current cat on “Star Trek: Discovery.” Thanks to the incredible intellect of Trek fan Danny Epperson, fans must now ponder if Cleveland “Book” Booker’s cat, whose name is Grudge, is really just a cat. Is she something more, as Epperson asked in his tweet:
Grudge could be a shapeshifter herself and might turn out to have powers that are even greater than that.
According to “Discovery” writer Jenny Lumet, Grudge is based on her grandmother’s dog. Lumet says that Grudge has a whole backstory” and that “she’s a really, really unpleasant cat and she makes things really miserable.” Unfortunately, this does not clarify if Grudge has any special powers or is a shape-shifter.
Den of Geek’s Ryan Britt says that so far, writing that fans know only that she “is actually a cat and not some other wonderful alien species that has yet to be revealed.” Britt does speculate that Grudge could be like the cat in “Captain Marvel,” which ended up being a horrifying monster known as a “Flerken.”
Evidence From the Cat Herself
Thanks to a new volume of thoughts from Grudge, fans might enjoy knowing what “the queen” thinks. This new “Book of Grudge” was written by Robb Pearlman and features little sayings that Grudge has about all sorts of things on “Discovery.”
Grudge, through Pearlman, says that “provide humans with a reason to live” and that she views the crew of the Discovery as merely people who will “do things for you.”
One item that should stand out for Trek fans is on page 77. It is an illustration of Book sleeping on the floor while Grudge takes up the entire bed. There is also an illustration of Grudge holding a Klingon Bat’leth as well. Perhaps Grudge is a bit more powerful than fans are aware of just yet.