Tag: Star Trek

Sunday Cats: The Man Who Saves Fukushima’s Felines, Ridiculous Cat Names and More

Saving Fukushima’s Forgotten Felines

It’s hard to believe that March 11 will mark 10 years since the tsunami-caused nuclear disaster at Fukushima. While more than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes to avoid the initial reactor meltdowns and resulting fallout, Sakae Kato stayed to care for the animals who were left behind.

His main focus is Fukushima’s cats, and he cares for 41 kitties who live in his home and a nearby building he owns, per The Guardian, which has a photo gallery via Reuters illustrating Kato’s efforts.

The Fukushima disaster was the worst nuclear accident since the infamous Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. Like the area surrounding Chernobyl, a no-go exclusion zone exists around the disaster site and will not be deemed fit for human habitation for perhaps hundreds of years. While scientists are still learning about the consequences for wildlife, animal populations have flourished in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, where they’re isolated from humans.

Exclusion Zone

Ridiculous and amusing cat names

If you’re planning on adopting any time soon or you’ve got an as-yet-unnamed furball and need some help finding a good name, you might find inspiration in this list from Reader’s Digest.

There are celebrity-inspired names (Kitty Purry, Catalie Portman, Bob Meowley, Cat Dennings, Catrick Swayze), Star Trek-inspired names (Captain Purrcard, Levar Purrton, William Catner, Leonard Nemeow), literary names (Haruki Purrakami is my favorite along with Holden Clawfield and Stelmaria), names inspired by history (Mewlius Caesar, Fuzz Aldrin), and names from the world of sports (Catfish Hunter, Meowhammad Ali). There are even food- and personality-driven names.

Thai sailors get props from PETA

The Thai Royal Navy sailors’ heroics went viral when they rescued four cats from a sinking fishing ship earlier this week. Now they’ve earned PETA’s “Hero to Animals” award.

“These sailors’ courageous and compassionate actions have made a splash with kind people around the world,” PETA senior vice president Jason Baker said. “PETA hopes their example will inspire everyone to keep an eye out for animals in danger and do whatever it takes to get them to safety.”

A Cat Hails A Starship

Grudge the Cat is having a season of firsts on Star Trek: Discovery.

The floofy Maine Coon is the beloved companion of Cleveland Booker (David Ajala), a mercenary and cargo-runner who turns out to be a galactic do-gooder, stealing animals from the illegal interstellar wildlife trade and bringing them to the safety of sanctuary.

Considering the illegal wildlife trade is thriving and directly contributing to the extinction of many species here on Earth, it’s not a stretch at all to imagine people in the future would pay a hefty premium on ultra-exotic pets from alien worlds. The Booker/Grudge storylines may even prompt more people to pay attention to what’s happening here on our own world.

In Thursdays episode (mild spoilers ahead), the crew of the Discovery receive a hail from outside the cloaked and secret Federation headquarters of the 32nd century. Anyone with the top-secret location of the base — and the ability to hail ships within it — must be VIP or have urgent business, so the acting captain orders the hail on screen, and the entire bridge crew braces as the image resolves into…

…floofy Grudge sticking her face into the camera.

The cast does an excellent job of looking befuddled and amused at a cat contacting the Discovery on a priority channel when they were likely expecting Orions or Andorians or any number of antagonists.

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Grudge looking regal on the bridge of Booker’s ship.

And so, for the first time in Star Trek history, a cat has hailed another starship.

It turns out Booker, anticipating trouble on a dangerous mission, set his ship to auto-return to Discovery’s Commander Michael Burnham if he didn’t make it back in time. That sets up the episode’s main plot in which Burnham goes to rescue Book.

The best line of the night goes to Michelle Yeoh’s Commander Phillipa Georgiou: “That cat can’t get lost. It has its own gravity field!”

That’s floof, not fat, Georgiou!

Grudge is referred to as a female cat in the show, but she’s played by Leeu, a two-year-old, 18-pound male Maine Coon.

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Ayala as Booker with his beloved Grudge.

Grudge The Cat Makes Her Star Trek Debut

One of the most anticipated new characters in Star Trek: Discovery’s third season made her debut this week, continuing a proud tradition of felines in the Federation.

Grudge the Cat is a Maine Coon and the beloved pet of new character Booker Cleveland, played by David Ajala. (Ajala should be familiar to science fiction fans of his roles as Captain Roy Eris from Nightflyers and Drifter from Kill Command.)

Ajala’s Booker plants a kiss on Grudge’s head as the floofy feline hangs out on the bridge of his starship. Later, when a mercenary courier tries forcing Booker to reveal the location of priceless cargo and Booker refuses, the mercenary threatens Grudge.

“She is a Queen!” Booker says indignantly, clearly more upset at the threat to his cat than to his own personal safety.

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Grudge is played by Leeu, a male Maine Coon who was chosen after the producers put out a call for a large domestic cat.

The floofy tabby follows in the paw steps of Spot, Commander Data’s beloved orange tabby on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as the show’s most prominent species of felid aliens, the Caitians.

Now we just need to get Buddy his own guest spot on Star Trek — preferably as the captain of his own ship.

Star Trek: Discovery Casts A Handsome Maine Coon

A regal Maine Coon is the newest cast member of CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, continuing the proud tradition of felines serving aboard Starfleet vessels throughout the franchise’s half century of existence.

Leeu, an 18-pound fluffster, will play Grudge, the feline companion to David Ajala’s new character, Cleveland Booker. Science fiction fans may remember Ajala from his excellent performances in 2016’s Kill Command, about a military AI gone rogue, and Captain Roy Eris in 2018’s Nightflyers, which was based on a short story by George R.R. Martin.

“We put out a casting call for a large cat … and he fit the bill. So far he seems to be a one-take wonder,” said Leslie Lawrence, one of Leeu’s trainers.

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Grudge making himself comfortable in the captain’s chair on Discovery.

For Discovery’s crew, getting a solid acting performance out of Leeu isn’t much different than a photographer getting a cat to pose for a picture.

“Everybody says that their cat can make a good set cat,” Lawrence said. “But it does take a specific animal to be able to stay cool and calm and collected, because when cats are done, they’re done.”

Find out more about Grudge in the video below:

Dear Buddy: Did You Hear About The Dating Site For Cat People?

Dear Buddy,

Have you heard about the new dating site for humans who love cats? It’s called Tabby and launched this month. I hope my human finds a match with lots of kitties I can make friends with. I’ve always wanted siblings!

What about you? Are you excited? Maybe Big Buddy will match up with a nice woman who has lots of friendly cats!

Good luck!

Friendly in Fairview


Dear Friendly,

FAKE NEWS.

Buddy


Dear Buddy,

No, it’s true! The site is real! Aren’t you excited?

Friendly


Dear Friendly,

FAKE NEWS! There is no such dating site. Don’t go giving my human any ideas. He can date women WITHOUT cats. If he meets a human female with her own cats and they get married, that would mean I would have to share my territory — MY KINGDOM — with other cats.

That’s unacceptable.

Buddy


Dear Buddy,

Oh, come on, don’t be such a curmudgeon! I bet you’d be an awesome cat sibling. You’d have feline friends to play and snuggle with. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Friendly


Dear Friendly,

No, it would not be awesome. There is only one king, and that’s me. Buddy the King. I don’t share litter boxes, I don’t share sleeping spots and I sure as hell don’t share yums!

I trust you will keep news of this “dating site” a secret, or I will be forced to murder you.

Buddy


Dear Buddy,

I’m afraid you’ll have to murder a lot of people, because the word’s out and the site has already gotten lots of press. In fact, Big Buddy may have a profile there already. Haha!

Friendly


Dear Friendly,

I checked. Big Buddy does not have a profile on this Tabby site you speak of. However, one can never be too careful, which is why I’ve taken it upon myself to create a profile for him and make sure no woman on this Earth will ever contact him or agree to a coffee date.

Name: Big Buddy

Likes: Star Trek, speaking Klingon, learning to speak Cardassian, long walks on the Holodeck, deep conversations about astrometrics and the Bajoran-Dominion conflict during candlelight dinners while drinking Chateau Picard, running diagnostic tests on plasma induction manifolds.

My perfect match: A woman who loves Star Trek as much as I do and has always dreamed of a Star Trek-themed wedding. We will get married on a replica of the USS Enterprise 1701-D bridge and honeymoon on the pleasure planet Risa.

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What I look for in a woman: Fluent in Klingon, knowledgeable about subspace harmonics, Tachyon field theory and passionate about LCARS submenu design. Must be able to properly mix drinks with synthahol, but also enjoys Romulan ale on occasion.

What women will appreciate about me: I’m skilled in the art of Pon Farr, have been practicing Ambojitsu for 15 years and I’m in the process of remodeling the interior of my home to look like the crew deck of the USS Enterprise.

What do you think? Are there enough Star Trek references to ensure women on this app will be horrified and immediately swipe left? One can never be too careful. If there’s even a chance that a woman will respond, I must make the profile even more unpalatable. What else can I add? What if I say he’s a Bronie who loves Jersey Shore, or an otaku who has a waifu body pillow? Help me out here, my comfort depends on it!

Buddy