Heisenberg's Cats

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Though he certainly did not know it at the time, the famed Heisenberg had never considered anything bigger than an electron to be subject to his famous principle. He certainly did not know it could be applied to the common house cat.

While you, as the owners of cats, or as the subjects of being owned by cats, might think when your feline lies sleeping, it is in the house with you. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, you are not touching that cat. If you did, you would know it is only there as long as you are touching it. And maybe as long as you are thinking about it. But as soon as you turn away and leave the room, the cat no longer exists...with you.

It has, like the wave-like particle described by the good doctor, disappeared only to reappear in another house where it is also sleeping because someone is thinking that they too have a cat which shares the exact same appearance as yours.

Have you noticed your cat, even if it is an indoor cat on a diet, never actually seems to lose weight. You buy diet cat food. You regulate his diet giving him never more than a mouthful at every feeding. You weigh him, you exercise him. Yet his weight never changes. Your plump cat remains as plump as the day he got that way.

Why, you ask?

Because whenever you leave to go to work, your cat is also leaving your home riding a wave of quantum reality to the home of another family who never starves him. Yes, your cat is an indoor cat. He does not go outside. He is simply, someplace else. Because you don't know where he is. So he can be there. And then he is.

They love him. They feed him. They believe he is their cat. And in that particular moment, he is. And this is the nature of cats. They exist as a waveform, capable of being in any number of other places at almost the same time.

You have seen this, only you didn't know what you were seeing. And because you weren't measuring it, you weren't able to interfere with it.

Remember a day when you wanted to do something with your cat but he could not be bothered? So his solution to his problem with you is to run under the bed, or into a closet and hide. You watched him go in. You are right behind him. You reach into the closet or under the bed but you cannot find him.

You assume there is a secret crevice or crack; a nook you just missed. But you are wrong. He is simply not there. In that instance, he is now with another family who recognizes his aloof nature and has a cat tree for which he can sit quietly, sphinx-like contemplating the universe and being completely worshiped. He may sit in that tree for hours while for you, he has only entered the closet moments ago.

In the time it takes for you to go into the kitchen, fumble around in a drawer, find that little used flashlight, change the batteries which are corroding said flashlight, replace them and return to your bed or closet, you cat has napped, contemplated his multiple existences in space time, had a bite to eat in the future and returned to the past to appear exactly where you thought you left him, more relaxed, fed and ready to bolt from under the bed and around the corner.

Alas, as soon as he turns the corner, he will be appearing running around the corner of another house in Wales somewhere, chasing mice and laughing inwardly at how much fun he has existing outside of the boundaries of time and space, only showing up long enough for citizens to believe they have a cat. You run around the corner to try and catch up with your elusive pet only to turn and find he has vanished again on silent paws.

You turn away frustrated and figure eventually he will return. And you are, of course, rewarded for your patience, for as soon as you open a magazine or newspaper, or as soon as you begin to type a missive to a friend you have not thought of in a while, he will reappear from under a table you didn't see him go under, or from behind a door you know was closed the entire day. You are relieved. You nuzzle your cat and all is forgiven. And this is the nature of cats.

People are so sure they have a cat. They will even report to the census bureau, why yes, we have a cat. Fifty million homes will report owning a cat, in a country with a reliable census of only twenty million cats. Cats understand. People don't. It never occurs to people to realize perhaps what they have is the idea of a cat, nothing more. No one can really own a cat.

He's only yours as long as you are looking at him... Ask Schrödinger.

Heisenberg's Cats © Thaddeus Howze 2013

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