The Trouble With Kittens
The first thing former captain James T. Kirk sees, when he walks into his living room, is his husband holding a very small, very fluffy thing. He strokes it, gently and carefully, but his face stays expressionless.
Spock looks up and smile ever so slightly. ‘Ah, Jim,’ he says. ‘A very strange tribble seems to have its way into our home.’
Kirk bites his lip to not start laughing. ‘That’s not a tribble,’ he says. ‘Don’t worry.’
‘Oh.’ Spock looks down at the creature on his lap. ‘So what is it?’
‘It’s a kitten,’ Kirk replies, feeling his mouth curling into a smile as he sits down next to Kirk.
‘Sorry, Jim. A what?’
‘A kitten,’ he says. ‘A baby cat?’
‘I don’t remember cats to be this small and fluffy.’
Kirk smiles again. He can’t help it. To see Spock looking at a kitten so puzzled and yet holding and petting it so gently, it’s a wonderful sight. ‘I’d argue all cats are fluffy.’
‘Not this fluffy, Jim!’
‘No,’ he admits, ‘not this fluffy.’
‘So what do we do with it?’
‘I don’t know.’ Kirk looks around, wondering where a lone kitten could ever come from. One this young must be returning to the nest soon. ‘Where did you find it?’
‘It just jumped on my lap,’ he says. ‘Out of nowhere.’
He chuckles. ‘Guess he likes you, Spock.’
Spock doesn’t reply for a second. ‘I guess I do have qualities an infant cat would appreciate.’
Kirk chuckles again. ‘I think we should go look for its mom.’
‘But Jim,’ he says, eyebrows raised as if to say how dare you. ‘He’s sleeping.’
‘Come on, Spock,’ he says, lifting the kitten of his husband’s lap. ‘We have to take it with us, if we’re going to find the mom.’
‘It’s so precious, Jim,’ Spock says. ‘And so small.’
‘I know, Spock,’ he says, cradling the kitten is his own arms, ‘but if we don’t find the mother, it’ll go hungry.’
Spock nods. ‘You’re right, Jim. We need to find where this creature came from.’
It almost feels like he’s back on the enterprise again, with the whole crew. Sure, he misses them, but to be here, with Spock as his husband, nothing can beat that. It’s a nice, peaceful early retirement. After all that happened, they deserve so much. Now, their only mission is to get the cat back home. How could a kitten have gotten here? He has heard of mice and even rats making its way through old apartment building, and old this one is. Twenty-first century, if he remembers correctly. And this creature is much smaller than a rat. It could belong to one of the neighbors.
‘So where do we start?’ Spock asks.
‘We ask the neighbors first, of course.’
‘Good morning Nyota,’ Spock says.
She smiles brightly. ‘Good to see you two!’ Her eyes find the kitten in Kirk’s arms. ‘And what’s that you have there, Jim?’
‘A kitten,’ he replies. ‘Spock thought it was a tribble.’
She laughs. ‘We’ve had enough trouble with tribbles for a lifetime, I’d say.’
‘I couldn’t agree more,’ Kirk replies. Good thing there are no tribbles on earth. ‘Do you happen to know anyone with a cat around here?’
‘Well,’ she says. ‘I actually think I do. A floor up, there’s this guy with a cat.’
‘Ah, yes, I’ve seen him,’ Spock replies. ‘His cat is quite a… cute creature.’
Uhura laughs. ‘I think he lives just above you. Good luck!’
As Spock and Kirk make their way up, Kirk realizes he’s already going to miss the little thing. Spock was right, it is very small. And very cute.
‘Do you happen to know what the name of the guy is?’
Spock hesitates for a moment. ‘If I remember it well, his name was Data. I talked to him some.’
‘So what did you think?’
‘Oh, he was quite nice.’
Kirk nods and steps out of the elevator, followed by his husband. ‘I think it was here,’ Spock says. ‘Oh, and he’s an android. Just so you know.’
Kirk raises an eyebrow. ‘An android?’
‘Well, that’s good to know.’
Spock rings the doorbell and not long after it opens to show a man with a pale face and yellowish eyes. An android indeed.
‘Hello,’ he says, and as soon as he sees the kitten in Kirk’s arms, his face lights up. ‘You found one of my kittens!’
‘Yes, it seems we did.’
‘And hello Spock,’ he says. ‘Do come in.’
Kirk nods towards his husband and follows Data into his home, where a box with kittens and one mother cat.
‘Spot did miss one of her kittens,’ he says. ‘Thank you so much for bringing them back.’
Kirk smiles. ‘No problem.’
‘Geordi, my boyfriend, should be home soon. Would you like to have lunch with us?’
‘We haven’t even had breakfast yet,’ Kirk says. ‘I didn’t know androids ate?’
‘I can,’ Data replies. ‘If I want to. Now,’ he says. ‘I’ll make you some breakfast, as a thank you.’
‘Thank you so much.’
‘And maybe you can play with the kittens.’
‘Well,’ Kirk replies. ‘It’s much better than tribbles.’