My cat has a big personality, his own Millennium Falcon on a stick, and even a Facebook page dedicated to his magnificence.
But even the regal Charles Hector Smidget can't command his own Starfleet vessel. (Wait. Or can he? Who knows what adventures he gets into while his humans are at work all day.)
Thanks to Jenny Parks, a scientific illustrator who specializes in reimagining fictional characters in feline form, there's a new book that's a perfect confluence of my personal interests, and as much a love note to the Star Trek I grew up with as it is a testament to Parks' artistic skill.Like her first book in the series, which boldy took Captain James T. Kirk and the Original Series crew on this strange new journey, Star Trek: The Next Generation Cats once again recreates scenes from some of the most recognizable and beloved episodes of the sequel series, with an all-feline crew that are both realistically rendered and delightfully anthropomorphized, dressed in full Starfleet regalia.
The tea-swilling Captain Jean-Luc Picard is reimagined here as a hairless Sphynx cat, with the rest of the Enterprise crew appropriately and just as cleverly cast, from the white-coated Data to the incredibly fluffy Worf, whose Klingon forehead is represented with a set of unique markings.
The Borg, the Holodeck, and, yes, Picard ordering "Tea, Early Grey, Hot" fresh from the replicator all feature prominently, with an episode guide to help you place nearly every scene.
Chief Engineer "Scotty" — naturally a member of the Scottish fold breed — makes a cameo appearance reliving the good old days in a scene plucked from "Relics."
A particularly frustrated looking Picard, who looks an awful lot like my cat when he's howling for food or attention, cries out "There are FOUR lights!" in a moment from "Chain of Command, Part II."
And, just as his human counterpart in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I," this captain is also transformed by the Borg, putting the "cute" in Locutus.
The design and Parks' execution is so fitting, the only time it seems a bit off is when Guinan is represented, stretched out languidly on the bar, yet somehow resisting the urge to swat the glassware directly onto the floor.
The series, by Chronicle Books, is a delightful addition to Trekkie lore and iconography and a welcome distraction while we wait for the launch of Star Trek: Discovery season two.