Schrödinger, Church Cat
Celebrating the seventh anniversary of Spitalfields Life with a week of favourite posts from the past year
Schrödinger, the incumbent feline
At the end of last summer, Robin Gore-Hatton, Verger of St Leonard’s in Shoreditch, noticed a skinny cat hanging around the portico and gave him food and water. “He was thin and hungry, so I took pity on him,” Robin admitted to me.
A lithe and limber creature, Schrödinger disposed of the church’s mouse problem with alacrity, thus earning his keep in exchange for services in pest control. “Like most cats, I realise he adopted his owner rather than the other way around,” Robin added, acknowledging that Schrödinger has now established himself as a permanent fixture at the church.
Conscientious in his duties, Schrödinger may usually be found at his customary position sitting discreetly beneath a table just inside the door where he observes the constant flow of visitors, retreating under the pews when crowds arrive. “He’s shy,” confirmed Robin, “but it’s like he’s biding his time to assert his presence.” Certainly, frayed corners of two hessian-covered notice boards in the side aisle attest to Schrödinger marking his territory.
“It does feel like he’s the boss,” Robin confessed to me with a helpless grin, as we strolled around the church with Schrödinger following close at his ankles in expectation of dinner time. “Only I feed him,” Robin whispered in covert explanation,“otherwise everyone would give him food and he’d grow fat.”
Yet in spite of his usual feline qualities, there is also an air of mystery to this implacable creature that is capable of vanishing and reappearing without explanation. “Sometimes at night, he disappears,” Robin confided, “and then I find him in the morning asleep in the crypt – I think he feels at home down there, which is something we share in common.”
Schrödinger and Robin Hatton-Gore, Verger at St Leonard’s - “It does feel like he’s the boss”
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