Archive for August, 2013

Schrodinger’s Cat

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

We’ve had a cat living with us for the last couple of years. A wonderful orange tabby that we named “Sparky”. He found us one day when we were walking on the nearby Creek Trail, and followed us home, and set up camp at our house. So we fed him – at first he’d only eat dry food, but gradually developed a taste for canned tuna – to the extent that he’d often ignore the dry food.

He caused a certain amount of trouble over the time he’s been with us – wounds from fights, wounds from walking on something hot that burned all four paws, knocking things off of high shelves (and a certain amount of breakage), and all the other things that cat owners know about.

He really wanted to be an indoor/outdoor cat from the beginning. He was long and lean, and could open cupboard doors and bureau drawers to find places to nap. He would leap to the top of a seven-foot high armoire like he was floating. Then, after about six months, he began to spray. Fortunately, his spray was nearly odorless, but it became more and more annoying. Eventually he “crossed the line” and became an outdoor-only cat. He’s been that way for the last six months or so. He did have access to the garage, so he could get out of the rain. At one point the raccoons managed to defeat the “chipped cat only” latch on the cat door to the garage, so we began to take up his food at night.

He would take walks with us – not long walks, because of Anne’s situation, but he’d follow right along, like an untrained dog. He’d camp out in front of the garage waiting for us to come home. He’d hop into a lap if he found one – like when I’d sit in the morning in the garden with my cup of coffee.

Then last Saturday (July 27) he disappeared – between when Anne came home and when I came home. And there has been no trace of him since.

So, did he find another family to live with? A family that is happy to have him as an indoor cat? Did a raccoon eat him? Was he run over by a car? Munched by a pit bull? (He wasn’t afraid of dogs.)

Here’s where Schrodinger’s cat comes in. Could Sparky be in both states at once, since we don’t know? Both dead and happily in charge of someone else’s house? If the former, we feel great sadness, and mourn his passing. If the latter, we feel annoyed or irritated – the two-timer! If he is in both states at once, like an unresolved photon passing through both slits of an interferometer at the same time, do we feel both emotions at once, a superposition of assessments as to his fate?

Sparky: phone home!



Sparky, June 2011