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A New Home For Schrodinger

June 24, 2018
by the gentle author

Ever since my cat Mr Pussy died last year, readers have been writing to enquire when I will get another and thus it is my great pleasure to introduce Schrodinger, formerly of Shoreditch Church.

With your help I am compiling a collection of stories of my old cat THE LIFE & TIMES OF MR PUSSY, A Memoir Of A Favourite Cat to be published bySpitalfields Life Books on 20th September. There are two ways you can help publish the book.

1. I am seeking readers who are willing to invest £1000 in THE LIFE & TIMES OF MR PUSSY. In return, we will publish your name in the book and invite you to a celebratory dinner hosted by yours truly. If you would like to know more, please drop me an email spitalfieldslife@gmail.com

2. Preorder a copy of THE LIFE & TIMES OF MR PUSSY and you will receive a signed and inscribed copy in September when the book is published.

Click here to preorder your copy

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Who is this newcomer in the house, perched so warily upon the carpet? It is none other than our old feline friend, Schrodinger the Shoreditch Church cat. Reverend Paul Turp’s retirement meant that Schrodinger needed a new home, so I was asked if I might be willing to take him and thus Schrodinger came to live with me in Spitalfields.

Recently, many disappointed visitors to Shoreditch Church have been asking where the cat has gone. Over his two years there, Schrodinger acquired a popular following who celebrated him for dropping a mouse at the feet of the Bishop of London, jumping onto the shoulders of the Bishop of Stepney and parading in the aisle, singing to the audience during classical music concerts.

No doubt Schrodinger was surprised to find himself in my house, yet he quickly grew to appreciate the comfort of carpets and upholstered furniture by contrast with the stone floors and bare wooden pews of Shoreditch Church. When he arrived in the spring, I was still lighting a fire every night and this became an evident source of pleasure for him after the long winter nights he spent in the cold, sleeping in the crypt among the crumbling coffins and dusty tombs. Schrodinger arrived one Sunday after the service and quickly fell into a delighted slumber after I presented him with a dish of freshly cooked chicken, thus introducing him to my weekly ritual of a roast dinner at the end of the week.

I bought a sheepskin and put it on the old wing chair where Mr Pussy used to sit, so that Schrodinger might feel at home there. On his first night, I woke to check on him and found him lying on his back in the chair, asleep with his limbs distended in the firelight. It was an encouraging sign.

After the freedom that Schrodinger enjoyed to roam in the huge church, I feared he might grow frustrated to discover himself confined in my house and tear the place up. I covered furniture in blankets and put away breakable china. Yet Schrodinger was placid in his new home, content to sit upon his sheepskin in the warm and doze his days away. Even if my church was smaller than the one he came from, there was the compensation of domestic comfort. Most touching was his obvious delight and gratitude at eating fresh food which was a novelty for him.

We sat and regarded each other in mutual curiosity, Schrodinger in his wing chair and me perched upon the sofa. I observed that his black raiment and white collar gave him an ecclesiastical air while his curious half-handlebar moustache indicated his origin among the modish folk of Shoreditch. I wish I could reveal Schrodinger’s observations about me but he is too discreet to disclose them.

In those first weeks, Schrodinger was wary. He looked at me suspiciously as if to ascertain for what purpose I had interned him. Keeping his distance, he leapt from the wing chair if he heard footsteps on the stair and hid behind it, peering round to examine any newcomer entering the room.

Since it was Schrodinger’s reputation for vanishing which gave him his name, I was concerned that he might disappear if I let him go outside too soon, making his way back to Shoreditch Church again. So I was careful to lock the cat flap and only open windows from the top,  just enough for ventilation but not sufficient to permit an agile cat to escape. Yet the very first time I left him alone in the house, Schrodinger vanished.

I arrived back after a couple of hours away and Schrodinger was no longer asleep in the chair where I had left him. I searched the house conscientiously, going from room to room systematically, peering under the bed and other furniture by torchlight. It was a mystery. I checked the windows and I could find no way out. I checked the rooms again and examined every possible hiding place – but he was nowhere to be found. There was only one conclusion. My hair stood on end at this possibility. Had he acquired the name Schrodinger after the thought experiment of Schrodinger’s Paradox – which proposes that a cat can be present and be absent at the same time – because he really had the ability to disappear?

I could not accept the notion that I had adopted a cat with supernatural powers, so I retraced my steps again and, when I turned, I found Schrodinger standing behind me. The reason I could not find him before was because he had followed quietly behind me round the house all the time I was searching. He looked at me blankly but I realised this was a cat of sly intelligence.

After three weeks, Schrodinger began to show signs of restlessness, checking the cat-flap every day and attempting to open it. He had gained weight and needed more exercise. By now, the weather had improved and it was cruel to prevent him going outside into the sunlight any longer.

Every few days, the warden at Shoreditch Church came to check on Schrodinger’s progress in his new home and offer him reassurance. He was the only person to whom Schrodinger would respond if summoned. So when the time came to let Schrodinger outside for the first time in Spitalfields, the warden came round lest he bolt off and got lost in the warren of streets, yards and alleys.

It was May Day and a fine warm morning when we opened the door and sat in the garden, waiting to see if Schrodinger would follow us outside. Sure enough he appeared, poised in the doorway. Then he walked up the path to the unmarked spot at the foot of the rambling rose where I buried the ashes of Mr Pussy and placed his paws upon the ground. He held them there for perhaps thirty seconds of stillness, before snapping out of his reverie and wandering off to explore the garden.

I was astonished by what I had witnessed but when I explained the significance of it to the warden, he reminded me that Schrodinger was used to Shoreditch Churchyard which is full of interments and so, perhaps, this moment of recognition was not so surprising. Once he had paid due respect to his predecessor, Schrodinger took a brief promenade of the garden and went back into the house. Then I unlocked the cat flap which permits him to come go as he pleases, and he has not disappeared yet.

You may expect further reports on Schrodingers’s life in Spitalfields.

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“I realised this was a cat of sly intelligence”

“I observed that his black raiment and white collar gave him an ecclesiastical air while his curious half-handlebar moustache indicated his origin among the modish folk of Shoreditch”

“I bought a sheepskin and put it on the old wing chair where Mr Pussy used to sit, so that Schrodinger might feel at home there”

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Schrodinger, Shoreditch Church Cat

54 Responses leave one →
  1. Catherine permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Oh joy! While Mr. Pussy can never be replaced, I hope Schrodinger will bring you (and your faithful readers) much happiness and many feline musings.

  2. June 24, 2018

    That is great to read … a delight – and I’m so pleased Mr Schrodinger has a new home and you have a new cat … reverence has been paid to Mr Pussy … and long may your happy days continue on … all the best – Hilary

  3. sprite permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Good news!
    Had a laugh at the handlebar moustache showing the origin of Shoreditch… a hipster cat!

  4. June 24, 2018

    I am very pleased for both you and Schrodinger. And have yet to meet a cat which isn’t bounteously bestowed with sly intelligence.

  5. June 24, 2018

    How lovely that you have a new companion. He is quite the handsome boy. Love and hugs to him.

  6. Judi Jones permalink
    June 24, 2018

    What a lovely start to my day to read this story. Thank you.
    I hope you and Schrodinger enjoy many delightful days together and share your stories with us.

  7. Madeleine permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Brilliant! I am so happy that you have a new feline companion and that he appears to be settling in well.
    Looking forward to reading your book about Mr Pussy.

  8. June 24, 2018

    A welcome distraction from the pressures of life. Sharing with an ecclesiastical cat must demand a certain reverence.

  9. Jess Wallace permalink
    June 24, 2018

    What a beautiful cat, and as always, lovely writing from the gentle author. Schrodinger is lucky to have such a marvellous parent!

  10. Marcia Jane Howard permalink
    June 24, 2018

    What a character! A wonderful tale

  11. June 24, 2018

    Mr. Pussy would be so pleased that you have been found by another cat. Schrödinger is very handsome.

  12. June 24, 2018

    There is not a cat living who would not love to take up residence with you, GA. I rather fancy it myself, as long as I could look at those wonderful curtains…I hope the pair of you remain very happy and content together. The silent following made me laugh.

  13. Greg Tingey permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Bautiful, excellent, but Schrödinger, please ….

  14. Enid permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I am SO pleased – for both of you!

  15. John Barrett permalink
    June 24, 2018

    There is real joy here for you and us. GA you don’t just live in a house now, you have a home once again you and Schrodinger a holy cat, his credentials has to be good. When wandering in the garden his senses i’m sure detect Mr Pussy. ?Can we have a voice-over from this singing feline friend after all he has listened to many hymns at St Leonard’s Church – John a poet from Shirehampton, Bristol.

  16. Georgina Briody permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I’m so pleased for you and what a character he is too!

  17. Sue permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Welcome to Schrödinger. May he have a long and happy life with you.

  18. June 24, 2018

    Perfect,at last you have a new friend

  19. Gary Croft/Melb Aust permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I cannot wait for more Schrodinger tales and am so glad a new feline has crossed your path for company.
    Mr Pussy was special but then again, they all are, when they present their individuality and give you that special silent accompaniment that only a cat can

  20. Jacqueline Mulligan permalink
    June 24, 2018

    So happy that another cat has found you!

  21. June 24, 2018

    Wishing you a very loving and happy future together!

  22. Jane Gadd permalink
    June 24, 2018

    May you both enjoy a long and happy life together!

  23. June 24, 2018

    I love the account of Schrodinger’s disappearance. And I am very happy for both of you.

  24. Leana Pooley permalink
    June 24, 2018

    He looks uncannily like Sir Roy Strong. Not sure whether that makes him a good companion or not!

  25. June 24, 2018

    Thank you for another beautiful piece of writing

  26. ja woolf permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I met Schrodinger last December in the church when he wanted to be either inside or outside the church depending on where exactly he was. I opened the door several times. As far as I know he was not actually in both at once.

  27. Sarah B Guest Perry permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Glad you have another cat. Lost mine a few years ago but am sitting here smiling at my son’s cat who has consented to live with me. Glad to know I will be seeing more feline Spitalfields adventures too.

  28. Bethea Jenner permalink
    June 24, 2018

    This is such a wonderful read. He looks like a special boy. I buried one of my cats in my back garden & often saw visiting pussies standing at the exact spot. They know more than we credit them.

  29. Delia Folkard permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this news and am so happy for you both. What a lucky cat, he must feel like he’s living in a palace with his own comfy throne. I don’t think he’ll be wandering very far from home!!

  30. Connie Unangst permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Happy you’ve found a new friend. Your home looks cat comfy. Better than a cold stone church. Best of luck for you and him. I think Mr. Pussy would approve.

  31. Linda Granfield permalink
    June 24, 2018

    A wonderful new companion! The moment in the garden—so full of emotion and message. Perhaps Mr. Pussy had a hand in it all? May contentment reign!

  32. June 24, 2018

    After some time had passed, Schrodinger came to realise there was no better place for a cat in the whole of London than to abide in the home of the Gentle Author in the old house next to Brick Lane and he lived happily ever after.

  33. Helen Thompson permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Looking forward to reading more tales of Schrodinger. I think he is a very lucky cat to have found a home with you, as was Mr Pussy before him :-)

  34. Sonia Murray permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Mr. Pussy loved you, and must be glad you now have Shrodinger to curl beside you on cold winter’s nights! Shrodinger is beautiful, and very lucky to enjoy a happy future with you, Gentle Author – don’t know how the Reverend could bear to part with him!

  35. June 24, 2018

    Dear Gentle Author,

    Congratulations on your new companion, Schrodinger. A house is not a home without a dear feline friend, in my humble opinion.

    I wish you many years of happiness together.

  36. Miriam Delorie permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Your story on Mr Pussy’s successor is too too beautiful. I just had to stop and read it before I commenced making our supper. We are in Cape town South Africa and my Father lived in Artillery Lane when he was at school in the East End – my grandparents having treked from St Petersburg. I have been following all your dialogue for many years and it is wonderful..but Mr Pussy and his successor are something else. Thank you and please continue. Miriam

  37. Geoff Stocker permalink
    June 24, 2018

    The cat who came in from the cold.
    Hope you have a long and successful partnership.

  38. Leslie Eaton permalink
    June 24, 2018

    I loved reading your posts on Mr. Pussy and was saddened when he passed.
    But another cat needed a home now and I hope that you and Schrodinger have a long and happy companionship.

  39. Debra Matheney permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Lucky cat! Mine disappear at times,only to reappear out of nowhere. One spent an entire day locked in my husband’s sock drawer. When, out of desperation after frantically searching everywhere, we opened the drawer in the faint hope of finding Sister, she was sound asleep and was greatly affronted that we woke her.
    Wishing you lots of new kitty adventures.

    PS The Dant map book arrived yesterday. What a treat. Love the gin scarf,

  40. June 24, 2018

    absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. thank you.

  41. Nora Shaw permalink
    June 24, 2018

    So moved and so delighted to read this touching recounting of Schrodinger’s rehoming. Wishing much joy and comfort to the Gentle Author and his new roommate. Eagerly awaiting the arrival later this summer of Mr. Pussy’s memoir.

  42. Jennifer Newbold permalink
    June 24, 2018

    Huzzah, dear friend! I hope it works out beautifully for both of you. Here’s to a long and faithful partnership!

  43. June 24, 2018

    What great news for you and for him! I am sure you will be very happy companions and look forward to hearing more of his new life with you!

  44. Sally Hirst permalink
    June 25, 2018

    If I were a cat, I’d seek you out as an exceptional companion. You would understand me, and I would love you.
    Luckily for you I’m a human and living in Australia, so I will not cry at your doorstep, hoping to be invited in.

  45. June 25, 2018

    Yet another lovely story full of your usual evocative language. It is good that you have each found a good companion. More tales to come!

  46. Robin permalink
    June 25, 2018

    Welcome home Schrodinger. I hope you and G.A have many happy evenings together.

  47. Jeannette permalink
    June 25, 2018

    you have hit the lotto, schrodinger. you’re silky and shiny and elegant and so kind to say hello to our friend mr. p.
    https://youtu.be/vNMEktJDArA

  48. Catherine Petersen permalink
    June 25, 2018

    Beautifully written! Wishing you both the happiest of lives together.

  49. dar permalink
    June 25, 2018

    re: sly moggie…bipeds of the female persuasion are like that, as well… ffwd to 3:55 to see if You concur: ‘Last of the Summer Wine s25e05 Whos that With Barry and Glenda, its not Barry and Glenda’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9at6F-8w8

  50. June 25, 2018

    Wonderful.

  51. Greg Tingey permalink
    June 25, 2018

    Extra style & superiority points for dropping a dead mouse on the Bish of London …..

  52. pennyp permalink
    June 25, 2018

    I am so relieved that another cat has found his way into your life. Mr Pussy was a special individual who lives on through your blog and book. We can never replace a beloved animal but we can find space in our hearts for another companion, special and unique in the cast of animals we share our lives with.
    Schrodinger has fallen on his feline feet!

  53. Jude Davies permalink
    June 26, 2018

    So pleased to read your article, Schrodinger is a wonderful name & he looks a formidable character, it’s a lovely thing to adopt a cat in need of a home & he seems to have adopted you too, so i hope that you will enjoy a great deal of happiness together.

  54. Steven Burr permalink
    June 28, 2018

    He looks just my cat Watson! I got mine at the shelter 7 years ago and he has been a happy since! Good luck with yours, I love black cats!

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