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Schrodinger’s First Year In Spitalfields

April 23, 2019
by the gentle author

Schrodinger puts his feet up

Already a whole year has passed since Schrodinger, formerly Shoreditch church cat, came to start a new life with me in Spitalfields. He arrived in April and after spending a couple of weeks sitting in the old wing chair, I let him venture outside for the first time on May Day.

In those first months he skulked around in wary reserve, observing me to ascertain whether I had any sinister intent or whether his new existence was a temporary state from whence he might get swept away again. Did months of wolfing freshly cooked chicken each Sunday change his mind or did he simply forget his earlier life as he became immersed in this one?

Although my house is much smaller than Shoreditch Church, I think Schrodinger has come to recognise the advantages of carpets and upholstery, and regular fresh food. The appeal of stretching out on the rug before the old iron stove in a stupor of warmth on cold winter nights is not lost on him either.

When my old cat Mr Pussy died, his regular spots – on the window sill and in the squares of light cast upon the carpet by the morning sunshine – were vacant, yet I found I still cast my eyes there in expectation of his presence. Consequently it was a heart-stopping surprise at first to discover Schrodinger sitting in these same spots, gazing back at me entirely unaware of his predecessor.

Schrodinger is his own creature, circumspect and self-absorbed, commonly avoiding eye-contact when his antecedent would always seek it. A cat who already knew who he was before he arrived in Spitalfields, Schrodinger is emotionally self-reliant and less dependent on human affection. Thus it is an unexpected privilege when he seeks contact, leaping nimbly onto my lap as I sit at my desk writing these words, or bounding onto the sofa when he enters the room silently to discover me stretched out and snoozing. His greatest gesture of endearment is to rub his head and neck against me, an action that he characteristically undertakes against my ankles when I am standing in front of the fire.

There are subtle behavioural differences between the newcomer and his forbear. Whereas Mr Pussy always entered through the penultimate pair of railings in the garden gate, depositing a build up of fluff, Schrodinger consistently enters through the last pair of railings without leaving a trace.

No doubt he misses the weekly services and classical music concerts that were a regular feature of his life in Shoreditch. Schrodinger will stop in his tracks if he hears the sound of hymns or orchestral music on the radio, no doubt triggering memories of when he famously pranced up and down the aisle, singing along at the church in his tiny high-pitched voice.

After a year, Schrodinger has laid down patterns of behaviour. If I linger too late on the sofa before going to bed, he sits on the carpet and fixes me with his gaze while waiting patiently for me to leave so that he can spend the night there, lying on his back with limbs distended and stretched out to his full extent.

Like his predecessor, he waits at the top of the stair in the morning so that we can leave the house to greet the day together. He runs ahead to escort me like a vanguard, down the stairs and through his cat door. Then he pauses while I step outside and lock the door, before he leads the way down the path, through the gate and along the alley, only peeling off at the last moment before the busy road and leaving me to venture into the city alone.

Perhaps most heart-warming is Schrodinger’s behaviour upon my return. If he sees me in the street, he will run to accompany me into the house and if he spies me coming from up on the sill, he will stand poised at the head of the stair to welcome me home.

You may also like to read about

Schrodinger Pleases Himself

Schrodinger’s First Winter in Spitalfields

Schrodinger Takes Charge

The Loneliness of Schrodinger

A New Home for Schrodinger

Schrodinger, Shoreditch Church Cat

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20 Responses leave one →
  1. April 23, 2019

    “…Schrodinger sitting in these same spots, gazing back at me entirely unaware of his predecessor…”

    Ah, but is he…?

  2. david whittaker permalink
    April 23, 2019

    WONDERFUL…Thank You.

  3. Venetia permalink
    April 23, 2019

    So glad he is happily at home with you now.

  4. April 23, 2019

    I think you are both very fortunate to have found each other. He seems to be a most amiable cat who has finally discovered his dream life. Cat etiquette is fascinating and, to humans, gracious.

  5. Marina permalink
    April 23, 2019

    Ah, Schrodinger, though we miss Mr Pussy, we look forward to hearing the minutiae of your daily perambulations.

  6. April 23, 2019

    No-one will ever replace Mr. Pussy, but Schrodinger is absolutely beautiful. And so very elegant. He may miss the weekly services and the classical music, but I’m sure he is happy to have a roof over his head, a warm place to sleep in in Winter, companionship and plenty of food. Happy house birthday, Schrodinger.

  7. Richard permalink
    April 23, 2019

    What a nice cat.

  8. April 23, 2019

    Schrodinger fits in perfectly with you . You were aware of that the first moment you laid eyes on him although you were not consciously aware of it. You were guided by the aura that emanated from his cat soul. Yes, there is such a supernatural thing but its seldom spoken of .
    I was led to Whisky by the same process. I saw him advertised for free as his owners were American and returning to the US. His name then was Dewey . I looked into his eyes and raced half way across London to get him. I was the only one, despite him being a very handsome fellow Which proves my point. Needless to say he fits in perfectly in our house and with our other cat Brandy.
    No we are not drinkers !

  9. Jill Wilson permalink
    April 23, 2019

    Lovely to hear that he has settled in so well – Potty and I had been wondering how he had been getting on!

  10. Virginia Heaven permalink
    April 23, 2019

    I enjoy all of your stories and the photo essays however, my favourites are inevitably about your existence and relation to the late Mr. Pussy and the very present Schrodinger. Thank you.

  11. Terry P permalink
    April 23, 2019

    Happy anniversary to you both. The article brings back so many memories of so many cats gone (but not forgotten) and those who succeeded them.

  12. April 23, 2019

    Our wonderful ginger cat, Spiff, died after 19 years. He was, without a doubt, a most unique cat – exceptional in every way. After a period of time, my husband John called up our Vet, inquiring “are there any orange kittens around?”. — “No, but we have three black kittens here.
    Brothers. Want to take a look, John?”. Off he went. As he tells the story, he approached the enclosure and saw three irrepressible black kittens, stretching their necks and looking up/up/up.
    How to decide? How to choose? Then……the little scrawny one in the back pulled off a great maneuver. As John says: (he’ll tell anyone who will listen…..) “He smiled at me.”
    The little kitten, immediately given the name of Satchmo, is now the size of an area rug. He is magnificent in every way. A born performer. Kindred, simpatico, and psychic.

    Thanks so much for letting us know how you and Shrodinger are getting on. Clearly, a match
    made in heaven.

  13. Anne Scott permalink
    April 23, 2019

    What a handsome guy, with impressively shiny fur…

  14. Ros permalink
    April 23, 2019

    Schrodinger has gravitas, no question. I think he will write you a very good reference if you ever need one.

  15. Jane lewis permalink
    April 23, 2019

    So lovely to hear about your year with Schrodinger, he sounds a wonderful companion for you and I am very happy for you both.

  16. Lucy permalink
    April 23, 2019

    I go along with almost all the GA tells us, but I do not believe that Schrodinger is entirely unaware of his predecessor ! Or, even if he is, we have no way of knowing.

  17. mlaiuppa permalink
    April 24, 2019

    How lovely to read that he eagerly awaits your return and rejoiced upon seeing you approach.

    A most agreeable cat. He has no idea how lucky he is. But, being a cat, I assume he simply expects to be treated like a god. Or at the very least, royalty.

  18. April 26, 2019

    Wishing you many more anniversaries.

  19. Jeannette permalink
    May 1, 2019

    so happy both of you are enjoying each other.

  20. Bethany Osborne permalink
    May 7, 2019

    Happy for you both!

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