Tag: Star Trek

Catstronauts: Buddy Leads Exploratory Expedition To Epsilon Eridani

STAR COMMANDER BUDDY’S LOG, STARDATE 12142022, Aboard the USS Fowl Play

Lt. Commander Freddie Ferocious has command of the bridge while I’ve retired to my ready room for the important task of answering video messages from kittens in Mrs. Meowmore’s Kittengarden class.

Catstronauts
Lt. Commander Freddie Ferocious, executive officer of the USS Fowl Play.
Catstronauts!
Star Commander Buddy, commanding officer of the USS Fowl Play.

Myles, a three-month-old tuxedo who wants to be a catstronaut when he grows up, has asked me how catstronauts eat and use the litter box in zero gravity.

“Well, Myles,” I tell him, “as you may have guessed, regular litter is no good without gravity! You can’t bury your business, obviously, and you run the risk of free-floating poops and granules of litter escaping into the ship’s habitable areas, so a litter box is out of the question. That is why we have a sealed Litter Chamber and a special suction device. It takes some getting used to, especially since it tends to pull on your fur while you’re doing your business!”

Sophia, a five-month-old Calico, asks us what we eat in space.

“This morning at 0100 hours I was informed that our food replicators are malfunctioning, which means the entire crew has had to make do with freeze-dried kibble and pate MREs. No wonder we’re all so cranky! I have ordered the engineering department to devote all available resources and catpower toward the repair of the replicators. This simply cannot be allowed to go unresolved, for a cranky crew can easily become a mewtinous one, and I don’t want to have to start spacing kitties out of the airlock. Er, I mean throwing ’em in the brig! Chief Engineer Meowdi LaForge tells me the replicators should be back online by breakfast.”

Catstronauts!
Chief Engineer Meowdi LaForge

Simba, three and a half months, asks: “Dear Commander Buddy, how far are you from the place you’re traveling to, and what will you do when you get there? Is it true there might be monsters? That would be scary!”

“Thanks for writing, Simba! It’s 10.47 light years to the Epsilon Eridani star system, which is a long ride! Fortunately the USS Fowl Play is a pretty big, comfortable ship, with lots of stuff to do to keep her running, and some pretty cool options for entertainment and R&R when we’re off duty. We’re less than two light years away from our destination now, which means the Fowl Play has already flipped and is engaged in a prolonged deceleration burn. We have to do that, see, so we don’t sail right on past Epsilon Eridani!

“Where did you hear about the thing with the monsters? It’s not true, okay? I don’t know what anyone told you, probably that jealous jerk Commander Calvin, but I totally did not run screaming from a monster during the expedition to Luyten 726-8, okay? That’s fake news!

“What happened was, I saw the monster and issued a blood-curdling battle cry, but then I hit the wrong button on my Planetary CatRover, which caused it to spin around and run in the other direction. I was trying to inspire my team, not abandon them. I would have turned around and battled the monster too, except by the time I realized my mistake I was already more than half way back to the lander and the others had scared the monster away with their laser pointers.”

That’s my rover on the left, and the Scary Monster on the right. As you can see, I’m very brave for facing the Scary Monster:

Five-month-old Pepper asks: “Star Commander Buddy, do you think smart aliens are out there? What do they look like? Will they be nice when you meet them?”

“Hi, Pepper! Those are good questions. Well we should remember that we cats are not only a super intelligent species, but we are intimidating too! We have sharp teeth and claws, some of us can roar, and we look really strong and tough! So maybe the aliens will be scared of us!

“I think there will be smart aliens even though we haven’t found other intelligent life on Earth. I mean, there’s humans, but they’re simple-minded creatures, aren’t they? That’s why they’re our servants! LOL! Maybe the aliens will only have fur on their heads like humans. Maybe they’ll look like dogs. Gross, I know! Or maybe they’ll look like a cross between elephants, manta rays and aardvarks.

“We just don’t know, which is why we’re trying to find out. Picture it: Star Commander Buddy, fearlessly leading the first expedition to make contact with smart aliens. It’ll be pretty cool to be in the history books. Tell ya what, Pepper. If we find smart aliens, you and the rest of Mrs. Meowmore’s class will be the first to know. After NASA, of course. We’ll send you pictures. Deal?”

Catstronauts!
Lt. Loki pilots our lander, and he’s a good example of how intimidating our species can look! Will aliens be scared of him?

 

Catstronauts
Vice Admiral Yo’oko Nahsuareo. Did you know jaguars make up only 4% of the Catstronaut Corps? They are usually sleep specialists, designing cryosleep pods for space travel and constantly improving comfortable napping spots on our ships.

 

Catstronauts Vol. III: Star Commander Bud Leads His Fleet To Victory & Catnip

In Catstronauts Vol. III, we meet Lieutenant Luna, a hotshot young pilot, Star Commander Leonidas, a stalwart explorer, the brothers Star Commander Zeus and Star Commander Taro, massive and fearless tiger warriors, Star Commander Hera, the most feared tigress in the galaxy, Lance Cpl. Oliver, a rising star in intelligence, Star Commander Alexandros, a decorated veteran of many galactic campaigns, Star Commander Xysto, the Felid Fleet’s most respected and capable captain, and Star Commander Buddy, whose bravery and prolific napping are the stuff of legend. (Click to view larger versions of each portrait.)

The Battle of Dog 359, Stardate 2662

Star Commander Xysto and the fleet’s flagship, the USS Sparta, led a task force to the Wolf 359 system that included Zeus and Taro on their redoubtable USS Voidclaw, and Buddy with his dependable USS Fowl Play.

After the early evening Fleetwide Nap Time (FNT), the task force engaged the Gorn approximately 6.4 AU out from the system’s binary helix and earned a resounding victory. Cats occupying the bridges, engineering decks and gunneries of all three ships broke out catnip — the good stuff laced with silvervine, not that weak ‘nip made by domestic companies — and were toasting each other when their consoles meowed warning of approaching ships.

The celebration was short-lived as the flotilla was ambushed by a larger Gorn force that emerged from the shadow of an icy moon orbiting the system’s most impressive gas giant. The Felid Fleet was victorious once more in the ensuing combat, but at a cost: both the USS Sparta and the USS Voidclaw sustained heavy damage, while Star Commander Buddy was able to avoid enemy fire by hiding behind the other ships conducting a tactical retreat. Crew members from the other ships reported hearing Star Commander Buddy crying over the fleet-wide comms channel during the battle.

“I believe the commander was saying he was too young and handsome to die,” said Lt. Silverpaw, a science officer serving on USS Sparta. “We heard the commander’s own officers trying to calm him down, but the rumor — and again, I’m not saying this is definitely true — is that he soiled the captain’s chair before his XO was able to get him off the bridge and into his cabin.”

Star Commander Buddy, however, recounted the events differently.

“On Stardate 2262.45, the fleet under the command of Star Commander Xysto engaged with a Gorn expeditionary force that had been raiding colonies in the Outer Realm. While our forces engaged the first Gorn detachment, those sneaky lizards had a second group of ships flank us in an ambush pincer movement. Both the USS Sparta and USS Voidclaw were heavily damaged in the ambush, but my own USS Fowl Play evaded enemy fire due to my deft maneuvering and brilliant tactical handling. Taking command of the fleet, I was able to save the day. In fact, my leadership was so effective that before the battle was done, I declared I was going to have a nap and left the mop-up duties to my executive officer as I retired to my quarters.

“I recommend the admiralty give me medals and commendations and stuff, and ignore the obviously false and defamatory reports of my jealous rivals, who have concocted an absurd story about me ordering my ship to hide behind the others. I haven’t done that since I was a kitten!”

After action reports indicate Star Commander Buddy’s USS Fowl Play resumed its course in time for the regularly scheduled Fleetwide Nap Time (FNT) and returned to Starbase 12, home of the Feline Federation’s most widely celebrated restaurants, including Cluckin’ Clancy’s Turkey Extravaganza.

Catstronauts Vol. III

Sunday Cats: FDA Approves Kitty Arthritis Drug, Woman Calls Cops On Her Cat, Grudge Gets A Book

Older cats could soon have easier lives after the FDA approved the first-ever drug to treat feline arthritis.

Degenerative joint disease and the pain that comes with it is extremely common, impacting 45 percent of all domestic cats and 90 percent of cats older than 10.

It’s the reason kitties “slow down” later in life, it’s a significant blow to quality of life and it often leads to decisions to euthanize beloved pets who are in severe pain. The new drug, called Solensia, has been described as a “highly efficacious treatment” by experts. It can “extend [cat] life, extend their happiness, and extend that beautiful relationship between cats and their owners,” Dr. Duncan Lascelles told USA Today.

“This is absolutely groundbreaking,” said Lascelles, who researches pain and surgical methods at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. “I have been in pain research for 30 years and this is the most exciting development that has happened.”

Solensia is administered via injection by veterinarians, with doses calculated by weight. Because traditional painkillers and other drugs can aggravate kidney disease and other common feline ailments, the new medication “marks the first treatment option to help provide relief to cats that are suffering from this condition,” said Dr. Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

“You’re Grounded, Go To Your Room!”

A Nebraska woman called the police on her cat this past Monday, Jan. 10, after kitty supposedly flipped out.

The woman told police she was breaking up a fight between her cats when she warned one of the feline aggressors she would “put it in its room” if the fighting didn’t stop.

“At this point, the cat became enraged and attacked,” the police report says.

The woman suffered “superficial” scratches from the cat’s claws and was treated at a local clinic as a preventative measure. Unfortunately Omaha police took the cat and brought it to the Nebraska Humane Society. It’s not clear if the cat was permanently removed from its home or what its fate will be. Calls to the police and the Humane Society by Newsweek were not immediately returned.

The Book of Grudge

Grudge The Cat Gets Her Own Comic

I’m not a big fan of Discovery, the newest iteration of Star Trek, but there are some elements of the show I like — including Grudge, the feisty Maine Coon companion of the rogueish Cleveland Booker, played by David Ajala.

Now Grudge stars in first issue of a new spinoff comic, dubbed Adventures in the 32nd Century.” The comic will tell Grudge’s origin story, as well as how she encountered Booker and appointed him her loyal human servant.

Although Grudge is female and often referred to as Queen Grudge in the show, she’s played by a pair of Maine Coon brothers, Leeu and Durban, who swap off between acting in front of the camera and napping.

If you can’t get enough of the well-traveled kitty, there’s also The Book of Grudge, in which the Star Trek feline shares her opinion on everything from space travel to the nature of time.

“Depending on what planet you’re on, what sun you’re passing or what temporal anomaly you find yourself in, I’ve learned that time is nothing but an artificial construct,” Grudge muses in the book. “So it’s in everyone’s best interests to synchronize their clocks to me.”

Grudge's origin story

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.

Screenshot_2020-11-20 st_d9_ep306_1233_rt jpg (WEBP Image, 1200 × 628 pixels)
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.