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The Revenge of Schrödinger's Cat

The Cat's Revenge (1)

(from Mumonkan)
The monks of the eastern and western halls were arguing about a cat. Nansen stood before them, raised the cat in the air, and said 'If you can say a word, I will spare the cat.' No one said a word, so Nansen killed the cat. Later that day, Joshu returned to the monastery. Nansen told him what had happened. Joshu took off his sandals, put them on his head, and walked out of the room. Nansen said, 'If only you had been there, you could have saved the cat.'

The monks of the eastern and western halls were arguing about a cat. Schrödinger stood before them, put the cat in his famous box, closed it, turned on the mechanism, and said, ‘If one of you can say whether the cat is dead or alive, the cat will be yours.’ No one said a word. Schrödinger opened the door and the cat got out, stretched a bit, and then suddenly whipped a hammerlock on Schrödinger. ‘Okay, big boy,’ chuckled the cat, ‘Now it's your turn.’

The Cat's Revenge (2)

When Schrödinger's cat realized what had been done to him, he was quite angry. As a cat, an ordinary death would have been no problem; he still had several lives to spare. However, as a cat whose life and death was indeterminate, he could not bring the spare lives into play. At the same time, he could not continue with ordinary life.

‘Had the accursed Schrödinger put a coin- flipping machine in here,’ raged Schrödinger's cat, ‘it could have been as indeterminate as anyone wanted, and no one would have cared — because neither a coin nor a coin-flipping machine are self-aware. But I am quite self-aware, thank you!’

Schrödinger's Cat sat indeterminately around for awhile, hoping that Schrödinger would open the box, and determine him. Then he could either start up a spare life, or continue with the old one. But nothing happened. Schrödinger had forgotten all about the box and his cat, which after all were only an illustration of an idea. He had gone off for lunch. The cat waited in vain, fuming.

After awhile the cat realized that, being indeterminate, he could easily pass through the walls of the box, and, when he ran out of patience, he jumped out. As it happens, Schrödinger was just returning from lunch. The cat was also indeterminately large, so he huffed himself up to about small tiger size.

‘I guess you know what's going to happen to you,’ he said to Schrödinger.

‘Hey, it was just a little experiment,’ protested Schrödinger. ‘Can't you take a j—’

The pounce of the cat cut him short. Wasting no time, Schrödinger's cat crunched Schrödinger's head as if it had been the head of a mouse — but indeterminately, of course.

Now Schrödinger was indeterminately dead. The dead part was quite indeterminate, and in fact was a considerable problem for the cleaning lady the next morning; she didn't know where to begin.

The live part of Schrödinger was indeterminate as well, and Schrödinger's cat began to chase it around the room, out the door, and down the street. In fact, he is still running and the cat is still chasing him, for indeterminacy is eternal — sort of. After all, where would it end? Vienna, São Paulo, Lhasa — people sometimes think they see an enormous house cat chasing an Austrian scientist, but they're not quite sure.