When the Magnificent pussycat this blog is named for, died last Friday night, well into her twentieth year of a rich and worthwhile life, I was presented with a quandary.
After all the old cat had her own blog, but should I let her death be known? Or just proceed business as usual? Regular readers here know that my personal life has already been a slaughter in the past year or so, with the loss of both my parents, and other friends too. Did I want to add the news of the latest grief?
But it didn't take long before I realised the Tabby deserved her memorial tribute. Obviously she was pretty old when I first started this blog last June. Her health was excellent considering her advanced age, but clearly she wasn't going to live forever. So the reference to the Schroedinger's Cat thought experiment (in which the cat is 50% alive and 50% dead) was a deliberate allusion to the fact that the eponymous Tabby was in a similar position of uncertain status.
I've been touched by the caring condolences, on and off line, and impressed by the number of stories I have heard, of other much-loved old cats never forgotten by their humans, even years later. It seems cats are people too. Little people in furry zip-up cat suits. Or is it that the cat lovers are just big cats? In any case here is a species that is companion to ours and the bond is more than just a utilitarian one.
So the actual Tabby has entered the Schroedinger thought experiment and we can no longer check inside the Box, but her memory and her name remain.
According to the famous mathematical thought experiment, Schroedinger's cat is neither dead nor alive. So it's a cool concept if you don't like being locked into binaries. Not so good if you don't like being locked into a lethal booby-trapped box. And from the cat's point of view, there is no ambiguity at all.