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Schrodinger Pleases Himself

February 20, 2019
by the gentle author


When Shoreditch Church Cat, Schrodinger, came to live with me in Spitalfields last year, I put him down on the old armchair where my previous cat Mr Pussy always slept. Yet Schrodinger is significantly larger than his predecessor and, although he sometimes dozes curled up in the armchair, he prefers to be able to stretch out at full length on the sofa when he is sleeping.

Occasionally, in those early months, Schrodinger would sit at one end of the sofa if I sat at the other end, but mostly he required a monopoly of any piece of furniture and would leap up in a fit of pique if I sat down beside him. When the winter arrived, the luxurious novelty of stretching out on the turkish carpet in front of the fire proved irresistible, especially after the long winters he passed in Shoreditch Church with its bare stone floors. But as soon as I went to bed, he would always leap up onto the sofa and fill the warm space I had vacated, snoring the night away.

There were a couple of instances when I walked into kitchen to make a late night cup of tea and returned to discover Schrodinger had already settled down for the night in my place, stretching out to fill the whole sofa. As I entered the room, there would be an uneasy moment of mutual recognition before he skulked away in disappointment to wait beside the hearth, until I went to bed and he could reclaim his spot. Schrodinger only stirred himself from his ease on the sofa when it became apparent that if he did not shift I would sit on top of him.

Once – to spare Schrodinger the inconvenience of moving – I lay down upon the rug in front of the fire to rest upon the carpet and fell asleep. When I awoke with a shiver after the fire had died, I looked up to see Schrodinger peering down at me from his superior position on the sofa and realised our places had been reversed. I was disappointed at my weary acquiescence, submitting so readily to his over-inflated feline ego.

As Schrodinger became accustomed to our long winter nights together in front of the fire, sometimes I sat beside him on the rug to share the languorous warmth. I found that if I supported my back against the sofa and extended my legs at angles, Schrodinger was comfortable to occupy the ‘v’ shaped space in between. If I fell asleep, stretched out on the sofa, I awoke to find him sleeping, extended to his full length beside me. Thus it was that equality of the species was achieved in our household.

Around this time, Schrodinger acquired the habit of leaping up into the space between me and the back of the chair whenever I sat at my desk. Sometimes, he climbed around to sit upon my knees. By then, he was comfortable to sit beside me on the sofa and no longer always got up when I sat down.

So it was that the momentous yet inevitable day arrived. I was sitting upon the sofa in front of the fire when Schrodinger entered the room, came over and jumped unto my lap for the first time. He settled down, making himself comfortable before falling asleep, but I sat in surprise and wonder at this milestone in our relationship. Foolishly, I was overcome with flattery at this honour that Schrodinger had bestowed upon me. For months he had been assessing my nature and concluded that I am worthy of his attention, especially when it is cold and he wants somewhere warm to sleep.

The dichotomy of Schrodinger on the rug and me on the sofa is no more. Naturally, he still likes to stretch out in front of the fire but – if it pleases him – he can also choose to sit upon my lap on the sofa. From this position, it is only a small adjustment for Schrodinger to move to occupy the entire sofa when I retreat to my bedroom, leaving him to slumber at ease in the residual warmth.


You may also like to read about

Schrodinger’s First Winter in Spitalfields

Schrodinger Takes Charge

The Loneliness of Schrodinger

A New Home for Schrodinger

Schrodinger, Shoreditch Church Cat





11 Responses leave one →
  1. mlaiuppa permalink
    February 20, 2019

    It only took Schrodinger a year to figure out you are a desirable, benign and convenient hot water bottle. Good for him. You belong to him now. He has claimed you. Just remember. The Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

  2. Eric F. permalink
    February 20, 2019

    I have fallen in love with all of my cats quickly and easily. They have reciprocated with various degrees of affection and time taken to return that warmth. But in every instance, it has been worth the time and effort. My oldest cat, Bobby, who sits and purrs on my lap as I write this, took 10 years before he would let myself or my partner tickle his belly, and I still don’t know who gets more joy out of it – him or me.

  3. Jill permalink
    February 20, 2019

    It’s a special moment when your cat trusts you enough to sit on your lap. Glad to hear he’s claiming all the best places to sleep!

  4. Delia Folkard permalink
    February 20, 2019

    What a heartwarming story to start the day. But the battle of the sofa will continume methinks! Love the covers by the way.

  5. Jill Wilson permalink
    February 20, 2019

    Absolutely brilliant and a glorious photo!
    Spookily enough I met a Schrodinger doppelgänger in Bow last night and was wondering how he has been getting on. It must have been a wonderful moment when he actually deigned to sit on your lap…

  6. Jill Wilson permalink
    February 20, 2019

    Just had another thought… have you ever considered publishing cards as well as books?
    I’m sure some of the photos you have taken of Schrodinger and Mr Pussy would make wonderful greetings cards, as indeed would a lot of your other photos and illustrations.

  7. February 20, 2019

    “to spare Schrodinger the inconvenience of moving…….”. Oh. Yes. I know that feeling quite well.
    Our area-rug-sized black cat, Satchmo, came to us as a tiny fully-entitled kitten. Who KNEW he would grow to such epic proportions? When we sit in front of the fireplace, we pull up an extra chair for him. (covered in his favorite throw, naturally) His luminous eyes aglow, he follows our conversations, his great head moving back and forth.

    Congratulations to you and Schrodinger for finding one another. Clearly, a “forever” match.
    What a magnificent photo!

  8. Su C. permalink
    February 20, 2019

    You have ‘arrived”! Fantastic!

  9. February 20, 2019

    I was starting to miss hearing about Shrodinger. We have 13 cats… Yes, don’t laugh. In Winter, eight are usually in the living room. It is quite hard to find a place on the couch. I’m very glad that Schrodinger has accepted you. It takes a while sometimes. Gie him two months and he’ll be sleeping with you.

  10. February 20, 2019

    How sweet. You are both growing into each other. I also love your throws and rugs.

  11. Susan Martin permalink
    February 21, 2019

    Oh how lovely lucky cat

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