~ Musings on Life of a Cat Named Schroedinger ~
I'm just an ordinary cat, well, not ordinary in the sense of common or regular or typical or normal. No, compared to that I'm far from ordinary, not your banal run-of-the-mill cat, but at the end of the day I'm still a cat.
Cats are not supposed to understand physics - and so, for a long time I really didn't get this thing with the guy my Human named me after and his cat in a box. That is until a few months ago. Now, I finally understand what it really means to be alive and not alive at the same time.
You see, for a Human mine had always been really low maintenance, and she had been easy enough to train. There always was enough water and food waiting for me when I returned from my nightly inspections of the neighborhood. She didn't demand affection if I was not in the mood to give it to her. She let me have the complete run of the house when she was gone, and she was gone a lot, but I didn't mind and spent long enjoyable naps in her bed.
One day that changed.
Before I had a chance to flee she had put me in that dreadful box she usually only pulled out to cart me to the doctor. I can tell you I was not amused; I hissed and protested the whole way like every self-respecting cat would have done. But we didn't go to the doctor's office.
We went to some sort of cavern that smelled slightly like my Human did when she came home from a long absence. I kind of had gotten used to the scent to the point that I almost liked it; not to the point of purring but enough to make me curious.
She took me out of the cage in an office that smelled even more like her, and like any self-respecting cat I hissed at her angrily, not too much though, just enough to get petted and reassured and plied with biscuits.
A phone call came and she took me under her arm and we descended deeper into the cavern. We ended up in a big room with a ceiling so high I couldn't see it. There were lots of other Humans and suddenly she pressed me into the arms of a male Human.
He carried me through a ring of water, very cold water. As everyone with even half a brain knows, cats don't like water, especially this cat, and so I scratched him to the best of my abilities. He held on tight, and suddenly we were somewhere else.
I immediately liked the smell there, green and alive and promising adventure. That's when it struck me: the Human holding me didn't smell, he didn't smell at all. All Humans smelled, on the surface they smelled all different but had a very specific underlying smell in common. He didn't; so, he could not be a Human and the other two-legged creatures around him also didn't have a distinct smell.
I began to scratch and wriggle in earnest. I even had some success but before I could get loose he once again stepped through the pool of cold water. I continued to squirm and when he left the water I gave him a last mighty scratch, landed on the hard ground and ran.
Focused on getting away I didn't see the forest of odorless legs suddenly standing in my way. Someone picked me up and looked at me. I didn't like their eyes, not one bit. I was handed back as if I were some sort of toy and the two-legged creature my Human had given me to, cradled me in his arms and petted me. At least I think that that's what it was supposed to be. It felt awkward as if he had never before petted anyone. And he probably never had.
My nightly inspection rounds led me all over the city and beyond, but I never caught even the slightest scent of another cat or even a dog, though that's not the company I'd usually prefer. There weren't even any birds.
After a while I was so bored in this bland place I even would have promised not to chase them had there been any birds or mice. The utter cluelessness of those two-legged creatures soon became more than obvious. The one who gave me my food, and I use this word with great caution since it was as tasteless and plain as the rest of this odorless place... anyway he, honest-to-goodness, tried to train me as if I were a common dog. He tried to turn me into some sort of messenger with a little box bound to my back, but not with this cat. And, boy, was he hard to dissuade.
I had to resort to a hunger strike to get him to give up. In his honor I have to say that he seemed genuinely worried and after that we came to an understanding. In time he even turned into a decent roommate.
There was only one thing that really annoyed me. Humans have those boxes with pictures and sound and the two-legged creatures had something like that, except that it didn't come from a box. In his house it was a voice that seemed to be everywhere. I didn't like it, not one bit and at first I tried to scratch it to get it to shut up. It didn't work, and so I had to content myself with hissing at it every time.
You see, the voice sounded like my Human and at the same time it didn't; it was as bland and lifeless as everything else in this place. Had it been for real I would have been thrilled, but no! It was just an imitation of life.
I probably would have died an early death of boredom, had my two-legged creature not one day put some sort of collar around my neck and sent me through the blue pool. After that last time, you can be assured that I was not thrilled at the idea but then it came to me that it might bring me to a place with scent and life and I proudly raised my tail and stepped through.
And the world around me exploded in sound and scents. It was too much to take in all at once. I became light-headed, and then I heard the voice from his house but this time it was real and alive.
Before I knew it I had been picked up and was surrounded by a scent I thought I would never smell again. My Human held me in her arms and looked at me as if she wanted to make sure that all my claws and whiskers were still in place. It felt so good that I completely forgot to scratch her for sending me away in the first place.
She smelled just the same, no, not really, there now was the scent of another Human all around her, no, two Humans.
My two-legged creature had followed me and they all went in another room. One of the other Humans wanted to take me but my Human refused. She kept me in her lap the whole time they were talking and I fell asleep.
When I woke up again I was in yet another room, a room that smelled of doctor. I was on some sort of table and tried to get away but my Human held me. Like any self-respecting cat I got a good scratch in but I still couldn't escape.
I heard the voice of another Human female. It was warm and rich. I liked it immediately. She was shorter than my Human and was standing at the other side of the table. She petted my head and scratched behind my right ear just like I like it.
"Hey there, cutie. You're coming home with us. I give you a clean bill of health, though you're a bit underweight for such a big tabby. But that's nothing a bit of proper food won't cure."
And now here I am, freed from that fragrance-free existence, back where I belong, finally alive again, but in a new neighborhood and a new house - with my Human and the shorter Human and a Human kitten, and, of all things, a dog.
Imagine, a dog. We had a few very good fights during the first couple of days but I think we are well on the way to become friends. Usually I would never compromise my standards like that, but Jack is not like most of the other dogs. There must have been a cat somewhere along the line of his ancestors, because he's almost as good at training his Humans as cats are.
My life would be absolutely perfect, there's this black Egyptian beauty two houses over who seems taken by my charms and... Yes, my life would be perfect if not for my smaller Human's insistence that beds are for Humans only.
Like any self-respecting cat I will wear her down with charm and patience. Everyone knows that resistance is futile, and now that I'm out of my namesake's box, I'll never go back inside.