If we’re going to talk about Grudge, we’re going to truth tell. For those who don’t already know… the truth is that Grudge is primarily portrayed by Leeu, a male Maine Coon who is just two years old. Maine Coons are those huge, adorable cats with tufts on their ears. That’s what gives Grudge that vaguely familiar alien appearance… Grudge is not the first Star Trek cast member with very pointed ears- after all… When the official Star Trek Twitter account first introduced Grudge’s addition to the Star Trek: Discovery team, an introductory video showed Grudge behind the scenes on set. Grudge was described as “feisty, cynical, cautious”, and a female. Grudge “the queen” also has a tendency to take time to warm up to people. We can thank David Ajala, who plays Cleveland “Book” Booker, for his comments about the female persona Grudge takes on in the series. Apparently, Book views Grudge as his “first lady love” and there are plans to have Grudge appear a fair amount this season.
Series Executive Producer Jenny Lumet shared her thoughts on Grudge’s character in a Star Trek video. She explained to fans that she invented Grudge’s character “based on a Pekinese dog who lived in the sleeve of her grandmother’s kimono. Her grandmother was Lena Horne, and the dog’s name was Nelly. Nelly had her own cook, named Irene. Lumet described Grudge as “an unpleasant cat” and she is “looking forward to Grudge wreaking havoc in outer space” in future space “a thousand years from now”. Grudge weighs about 18 pounds and has the huge paws to firmly hold his ground when determined to remain angry about something.
That’s probably why David Ajala told Wil Wheaton during a YouTube interview that “it took a little while to get to a place of mutual respect”. Ajala said that “it was going to be “him or the cat”. He also revealed that there were actually two cats portraying Grudge and he had to spend time with them both on set. The handler would give Ajala cat treats to help him build a good relationship with both of the cats. The two Maine Coons are from Niagara Falls. Ajala thought all was going well until Grudge clawed his costume right in the middle of a scene. When the scene was done, Ajala put Grudge down “carefully” only to see that his costume was completely shredded. Ajala didn’t realize that Grudge had such lengthy claws. The two finally got used to each other and moved forward without problems. Ajala points to his experiences in theater which helped him learn to persevere until the scene is finished- cat scratches or not.
Fans can follow Grudge on his very own Twitter account: @Grudge_Cat or on his Instagram @grudgecat. His introduction has had more than 44K views since his new role on Star Trek: Discovery was announced formally back in September 2020. Interestingly enough, there is some fan speculation that Grudge may not be just a cat. Ryan Britt, in his October 15, 2020 article for Den of Geek, poses whether Grudge is a real cat or not. Britt thinks Grudge may be “more sentient” than realized. He also mentions different times throughout Star Trek’s history when pets are actually aliens or holographic images. He also noted that Spock admitted being “strangely drawn to” a black cat which was actually a shape-shifter woman. Britt’s reminds that pets might have telepathic powers, or be able to time travel. He concludes by reminding us all that one just doesn’t know until the truth outs.
Star Trek has included other cats throughout its history. Isis was Gary Seven’s colleague in The Original Series, Spot was Data’s pet companion in The Next Generation, Chester was Mile’s Obrien’s pet in Deep Space Nine, Neelix accompanied Barclay in Voyager, and there have been others along the way. All of these pets have had their own space traveler quirks. Who knows what’s in Grudge’s future? It will be a few months until Grudge’s book is released. Star Trek: Discovery fans who also happen to adore cats will have to wait until its November 9, 2021 release. Penguin Books and Hero Collector will release it. It’s the work of New York Times bestselling author- and #1 at that-Robb Pearlman. He’s already authored more than 30 books. Several of those have had Star Trek themes. Pearlman is known for his catchy take on pop culture, engaging kid’s books, and favorite hobbies.
Pearlman took on a challenge with Grudge Cat. His hardcover book will be 96 pages of illustration and photography “in scrapbook style”. Pearlman writes that the book will be Grudge’s take on universal facts and her thoughts and “offbeat observations”. Grudge will take her “cool cat” indifference to outer space living and use her wit to tell us all about her views on the universe. Fans are already pre-ordering The Book of Grudge on Amazon for $14.95. The book will be filled with the “wit and wisdom of Star Trek” but seen though Grudge’s decidedly focused cat eyes. She’ll tell all in this book-what she’s really thinking about travels through outer space and the places, ships, and people she meets along the way.
Pearlman has already succeeded with such titles as Star Trek: Body by Starfleet, Stuck on Star Trek, and numerous pop culture acquisitions for adults and children. He’s also been a featured guest on three Star Trek Cruises, the San Diego and New York ComiCons and numerous book signings and guest events. He’s serves on the Advisory Board of the MS in Publishing Program at Pace University and has served on the Board of Directors of Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Without a doubt, he’s ready for Grudge the Cat and all she had to dish out. It’s going to be a difficult wait for the book to debut. But, Grudge fans can hardly wait. Star Trek fans who prefer dogs aren’t convinced about all the cat hype. Most in the know have indicated that Queen Grudge could care less. The fun has only begun—Cleveland “Book” Booker doesn’t have a clue about what he’s gotten into.