I am the cat in Schrödinger’s box.
I live in a house whose structural integrity is unsound. The foundation of concrete cracked, the beams bored throughout by the mindless crawl of tiny thoughts remebling white backed ants. The windows long since glazed over and curtains hanging tattered.
Upon the kitchen table, lay a meal left – hard and multicolored, the long decay set in a swath of greens, blues and blacks. Mould, dying in the inside. A stench fills the room, eminating from a fridge – its power long since disconnected, its contents past the liquid state and into a rough slough of debris, its sustenance no longer available.
There are no places set. The clock on the wall has long since stopped the decay of memory, the lingering of death.
Within the living room, plastic covers the furniture. Imprints of a life once lived still visable on the seats. There, where my father used to sit – there, where my mother used to smile. There, where once I would preen, clean and sleep and love and once, in the days long since past, batter away at a small fake mouse – my kittenish innocence enacting the hunt, my instincts honed on the fantasy of a pseudo cotton toy.
I feel the sides of the box, they are cold. Steel. Unmoving. My whiskers butt against the sides, and I do not know where in the house I am trapped. I curl up in my own warmth, for that is the only way to keep the cold from seeping into my heart.
I know only that I am trapped, and am unable to offer solace or joy to any, and my purpose as companion, friend and healer is no longer a purpose at all.
I live in a house whose structural integrity is unsound. The foundation of concrete cracked, beneath me, I can feel the earth beginning to devour it. I hear the tappings of worms making their way upwards into that which should have stayed firm for years, and there is water there, seeping up from the earth. Biting its way into the guts of what once was my home.
Inside the box with me, lay a small canister – hard and unmoving, yet warm tot he touch. A valve sits atop it, and by some appareatus invisable and unfathomable to my feline brain it is connected to an instrument which is my companion. I hear the ticking noise as it reads the volumes of air. I hear the licking as it turns the pages of my future.
Outside, the leterbox is filled with unopened messages. They no longer fit within, and thus are left besides it, many are waterlogged and ruined, many are etaen through by slaters and roaches. Many are ones of finance, of due payment, of debt and yet some, too, are of love. Of words sent. Of greetings and well wishes, and yet there is no longer anyone to collect them, just as no longer anyone pays attention to the derelict home that sits atop the hill, behind the gate, beyond the wall and beneath the sky. They see not the crumbling mortar, they see not the once happy past that its acerage held. They walk askew it, their perception bent around it as if it were invisable – for who would want to visit a hearth of such bitterness? Who would want to stay within its rooms? Its walls hung and festooned with painted images of peace that have long since either falled to the ground, or faded into nothingness.
There is no light in here, no wind. There is no food, no milk, and no sense of reality within the vessel that contains me.
For I am the cat in Schrödinger’s box, and I know not if at this moment, I am what I think I am. I know not, if at this moment, I will be what I say I am. I know not, if at this time, I exist as I say I have – for none of you even know that I am trapped here, and none of you can hear my silent screams or the scratching that has long since left my claws a bloodied and ruined mess.
I lick my paw. I smooth my fur.
I sleep, knowing that I will only wake to darkness – if at all.
One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a “blurred model” for representing reality ….