- "And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
- I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend."
Spot was a female cat and Data's pet in the 2360s and 2370s. She lived with him while he served aboard the USS Enterprise-D and -E. She had a litter of kittens with one of the other cats on the Enterprise-D. Data once wrote a poem about Spot, entitled "Ode to Spot". (TNG: "Schisms", "Genesis")
Spot was an active cat and got a lot of attention from Data. She often jumped on his desk and played, and often left Data's quarters to explore, though she could not trigger the doors. As a starship cat, she did not encounter rodents, insects or was chased by a canine. Data made 221 different formulas of food for Spot, many of which she did not care for, but she did like supplement 25. (TNG: "Phantasms")
Data unsuccessfully tried to train Spot, since she often tried to get attention when he was working. He used several methods including conditioned-response exercises, environmental enhancement, and bioconditioning devices, such as sensor nets for behavioral modification or biofeedback motivators. Upon noticing how readily Data would respond to Spot's requests for attention and playtime, Geordi La Forge joked that it was actually Spot who was successfully "training" Data. On another occasion, when Worf tried to give Spot commands, Spot did not respond to them. (TNG: "Timescape", "Force of Nature", "Genesis")
Spot was a relatively fickle cat with people, and only seemed to get along well with Data and Reginald Barclay, which the latter found surprising. In 2369, while taking care of Spot, Commander Riker was forced to go to sickbay when she scratched his face. The next year, La Forge borrowed Spot, since he wanted to see what having a pet cat was like. They did not get along well, either. In 2370, Worf briefly took care of her, though he found himself allergic. He simply fed her. (TNG: "Timescape", "Force of Nature", "Genesis", "Phantasms")
In 2369, Spot became pregnant by one of the twelve male cats aboard the Enterprise-D at that time. Data paid attention to her health, including bringing her to sickbay for a check-up just before giving birth. (TNG: "Genesis")
In 2370, Spot played an integral part in saving the crew of the Enterprise-D. While Data and Jean-Luc Picard were on an away mission, a synthetic T-cell became airborne and infected the crew. This caused inactive parts of their genetic code to activate and essentially "de-evolve" them, including Spot. She gave birth to her litter while also de-evolving into a reptile. When Data and Picard returned, they found her and saw that her kittens were unaffected. They realized that the natural defense mechanisms in the placenta, which protect infants from the mother's diseases while in the womb, might prove useful in creating an antidote. This led Data to develop a cure using amniotic fluid from Nurse Ogawa, who was also pregnant at the time. (TNG: "Genesis")
In 2371, Spot survived the destruction of the Enterprise-D. Data, via his newly-installed emotion chip, cried tears of joy over Spot's survival. In 2379, Spot was aboard the Enterprise-E with B-4. (Star Trek Generations; Star Trek Nemesis)
Background information Edit
Spot first appeared in "Data's Day" as a male, long-haired Somali cat. In subsequent appearances, Spot was seen as a more common American short-hair orange tabby, but still as a male. It was only in the seventh season episode "Force of Nature" that Spot was first referred to as she. In "Genesis", she even gave birth. The Star Trek Encyclopedia jokingly suggests that Spot may be a shapeshifter or the victim of a transporter malfunction.
Spot was played by unknown long-haired Somali cats in his first two appearances and trained by Gary Gero and Scott Hart from Birds & Animals Unlimited. Spot's appearance was changed into an orange tabby cat beginning with the sixth season when Rob Bloch from Critters of the Cinema took over the animal casting and training. During his time on The Next Generation, Spot was then played by Monster, Brandy and Bud and later also by Tyler, trained by Rob Bloch and Karen Thomas-Kolakowski.
In the first draft script of Star Trek Generations, Spot ended up on the holodeck while the holoprogram of the brig USS Enterprise was running, prompting Riker to call to Data, "Will you get your damn cat off the Holodeck!"
When it was decided that Spot would appear in Star Trek Generations, Critters of the Cinema trainers Bloch, Thomas-Kolakowski and Kelli Cole trained the cats Monster and Brandy and their back-ups Spencer and Zoe. While Monster appeared in the scenes earlier in the film, when a more spunky Spot was required, Brandy was the cat seen at the end of the movie. Critters of the Cinema was not called back for the production of Star Trek Nemesis.
A scene that was cut from Star Trek Nemesis revealed that Worf was left to care for Spot. In the scene, Worf and La Forge were cleaning out Data's quarters. Worf heard a noise, and looked up. Immediately after, Spot jumped into his arms. Worf stated that he "was not a cat person." La Forge then said, "You are now." This scene, along with other deleted scenes, was added as an extra on the Special Edition DVD.
While the character of Data loved Spot, Brent Spiner is noted as possibly having an, albeit minor, dislike for the cat. In the commentary of Star Trek Generations, it was stated that he did not want to go back for Spot, and during an interview in the 2010 Wizard World in Philadelphia, he said, in a joking manner, that he thought the cat was "the stupidest actor I've ever worked with," saying that [s]he "never took a piece of direction, ever." Except for one time where "They" (presumably the writers) wrote in "Spot eats tuna out of a can. And he did it on the first take, otherwise we were there all day with that cat."
In the TNG short story "On The Spot" from the anthology The Sky's the Limit, following the scene depicted in the film deleted scene where Spot jumps into his arms, Worf assumes the role of caretaker for Spot after Data's death. Worf, after Spot assists with hunting down an alien infestation on the Enterprise, states that he finds her to be a warrior, who simply lulls people into a false confidence of a cat.