Thursday, February 2, 2012


Recently, I have been spending a lot of time with my cat. Goblin is her name, and she is a beautiful, long-haired calico. You probably remember her from Rutherford the Unicorn-Sheep's play date. She makes funny faces sometimes.

The thing about Goblin that is different than any other cat I've ever had, is that she talks constantly. If I get up at 4am to go to work, she starts meowing. If I get home from work at noon, she starts meowing. Usually if I'm working at the computer or cleaning she either sleeps or hides, but if I'm not paying enough attention to her, she meows.

Whenever I am in the kitchen she meows. Like this:

My favourite thing about Goblin is not how she sleeps on my head every night, or how she scratches the back of the couch when she thinks I'm not looking, or how she licks plastic bags: it's how she attacks the little tiny white feathers that come out of pillows. They're so small that they are almost invisible, so it looks like she's attacking the air or the rug or nothing at all.

The thing about cats is that they're completely insane and yet so awesome. The first time my parents' cat, Spidercat, came into the house, she was so afraid of the dog that she leaped six feet in the air and crawled her way up the wall, ruining mom's wallpaper. Just yesterday, Mom caught her, not walking across the top of the cupboard, but balancing on the teapots sitting on top of the cupboard.

My deceased cat, Ginger, used to catch rabbits and bring them to me as a gift. Or something.

The most amazing cat I've ever heard of is Schrodinger's cat. In Quantum Mechanics there exists something called a superposition of states. This idea suggests that an electron exists in its theoretical states simultaneously until it is measured--then it decides where it is. Schrodinger thought this was silly. He proposed this thought experiment:

Put a cat in a steel box with food and a vial of radioactive poison. If any of the poison decays during the time the cat is in the box, then the vial is smashed and the food filled with poison. But, since we can't see or measure the cat in any way, then according to Quantum Superposition we would be forced to believe that the cat is both dead and alive simultaneously, until we open the box and the cat becomes one or the other.

 Nowadays I think PETA would object to putting cats in steel boxes and feeding them poison, but imagine it: a cat that can both exist and not exist simultaneously. I think we can now understand why they jerk their eyes and heads around like they're watching things that aren't there: it's because they are there. Cats can see electrons in superposition. Because they're smart. And manipulative. I have proof right here:

 Moral of the story: Go get a cat.

1 comment: