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Schrödinger, Shoreditch Church Cat

January 18, 2016
by the gentle author

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”

You may also like to read about

East End Cats

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part One)

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part Two)

The Cats of Elder St

Blackie, the Last Spitalfields Market Cat

and read about

Mr Pussy in the Dog Days

Mr Pussy is Ten

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the Sun

Mr Pussy, Natural Born Killer

Mr Pussy takes a Nap

Mr Pussy’s Viewing Habits

The Life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a Dog

Mr Pussy in Summer

Mr Pussy in Spring

21 Responses leave one →
  1. Ros permalink
    January 18, 2016

    Wonderful cat pictures, with Schrödinger’s new hunting ground and obviously literate owner also featuring to excellent effect. Great!

  2. January 18, 2016

    Cats naturally belong in and around churches. I once lived in a small rural community where the priest’s cat went to church with everyone else on Sunday. He would jump up on a window ledge and sit there quietly and quite still from start to finish. He also caught the mice!

  3. Rachel permalink
    January 18, 2016

    What a gorgeous boy. Seems like he has a great and very useful life.

  4. January 18, 2016

    Good that Schrödinger has found a worthy place to live in, he is a very beautiful cat! Valerie

  5. jeannette permalink
    January 18, 2016

    so happy the church has a soberly dressed cat, so happy the cat has an old black-and-white building to love and care for. perfect. happy new year, schrodinger. you rock my world.

  6. Greg Tingey permalink
    January 18, 2016

    WHrrrrrrr ….
    Love those eyes.

  7. January 18, 2016

    This is a lovely piece about the Shoreditch cat lots of compassion here. They do earn their keep by keeping mice and rats down. Its all good PR for St Leonard’s church, these church cats do have their loyal band of followers; well done that verger. My favorite is Archie the Wells Cathedral shop cat seen in 2015 always on duty in his basket on the counter. Visitors love him and its good for sales too. In a way they are at home in these holy places. JB.

  8. Bee (TINGEY) permalink
    January 18, 2016


    With so many cats around Spitalfields, are there any birds left???


  9. Suzanne Keyte permalink
    January 18, 2016

    What a charming story and lovely photos.
    Thank you

  10. Gioconda permalink
    January 18, 2016

    “Soberly-dressed” indeed!

    Schrodinger looks like a small, furry sacristan. Bless him!

  11. January 18, 2016

    I intend to be a cat in my next life!

    Love & Peace

  12. pauline taylor permalink
    January 18, 2016

    Schrodinger reminds me of my very first cat, still loved and missed after all these years, and he has obviously fallen on his feet here. Well done Schrodinger, and well done verger.

  13. January 18, 2016

    Great piece and photos 🙂 Love that white moustache!

  14. gkbowood permalink
    January 18, 2016

    Spitafields Cats part 1 has a cat name Carlos pictured and he looks quite like Schrodinger! I thought there was a mystery solved before doing some careful back and forth comparisons and determined they are not the same cat.

  15. Lee permalink
    January 18, 2016

    A nice happy story for a lovely looking cat with a peculiar name lovely photos

  16. Suzy permalink
    January 19, 2016

    Delightful post!

  17. JeanM permalink
    January 19, 2016

    Lovely story, cats certainly know the right people to adopt don’t they

  18. Sue permalink
    January 19, 2016

    Always love a good cat tale.

  19. Jennifer permalink
    January 20, 2016

    How did Schrodinger get that wonderful name?
    Anyhow, name to one side Schrodinger, I am uplifted by your presence.

  20. Ellen Moody permalink
    January 20, 2016

    I don’t think it is true that cats adopt people — or it’s only half-true. They need affection and companionship as strongly as any creature. I feel for that feral cat; he looks lonely and we can tell from what you say he is sometimes starving. He needs a home and a human friend to be close too. What seems mystery is his instinctive behavior to stay safe is to keep away from creatures most of whom could easily kill him.

    I didn’t realize you had so many cat blogs. I shall read them across today.


  21. John permalink
    January 22, 2016

    Good job Shrodingner! I am of the opinion that the good work that cats do to keep rats in absence goes largely unappreciated. What if we were to turn that task over to dogs? No, no, it is the cat who intervened during the Middle Ages, to be the unsung hero that helped quell the raging plague. But does it ever get it’s proper credit for that important task? Not likely. Generally it’s dogs that hog all the glory as ‘man’s best friend’.

    Thanks for the great blog…

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