Leonard Nimoy RIP: A Black Cat Charmed the Emotionless Spock


Spock is dead.

Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the Star Trek character for decades on television and in films, died today at age 83, the New York Times reports. Nimoy played a number of roles — including one of my favorites, William Bell in the TV series Fringe — but he will be remembered primarily as Spock for as long as there is such a genre as science fiction.

On this day, one Star Trek episode comes to mind: It’s called “Catspaw,” and it involves a black cat who can transform back and forth into a woman named Sylvia. The cat/Sylvia is eventually discovered to be one of two villains on a distant planet. They are vanquished by the Enterprise crew, but not before Sylvia becomes a very big cat and attacks her co-villain. In the short clip below, Spock holds the cat and expresses his thoughts about her, a quite mysterious creature.

Responding to Capt. Kirk’s question, “What do you make of the cat?” Spock replies:

“Quite a lovely animal, captain. I find myself strangely drawn to it.”

That’s saying a lot for a man who’s half-human and half-Vulcan, and who spends his every waking moment attempting to resist emotions. It’s also one of my favorite quotes by Spock, alongside the one spoken just before his death in the second Star Trek film:

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Spock never sounded so much like a cat shelter worker as he did then.

Read more about cats and Star Trek:

About Keith Bowers: This broad-shouldered, bald-headed, leather-clad motorcyclist also has passions for sharp clothing, silver accessories, great writing, the arts, and cats. This career journalist loves painting, sculpting, photographing, and getting on stage. He once was called “a high-powered mutant,” which also describes his cat, Thomas. He is senior editor at Catster.

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