On Monday, my cat died. His name was Snowball, and he was my buddy for nearly 16 years. Snowball joined our family the day I got my ears pierced when I was seven, and he was a good cat. I know it’s a sad subject to be talking about, especially for the weekend, but this week has been especially hard after hearing the news Monday morning. All this time, I’ve been thinking about a particular poem written by a certain android. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you might know that I’m particularly fond of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and that my favorite character is Data. One of the things I love about Data is his sense of wonderment; the other reason I love him is because he loves his cat, Spot. In an episode of TNG, Data wrote a poem for his cat, which has given me a weird sense of comfort this week.
I was going to do something funny with it, like a literary analysis, but I can’t. I have no desire to not because of laziness, but because I think it doesn’t need to be. And I’m not looking for sympathy or attention because I wanted to get this out in the open. So, without further ado, as an ode to my buddy Snowball: “Ode to Spot.”
Felis Cattus, 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 aide in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
O Spot, the complex levels of behaviour 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.