Schrodinger, tired of his colleagues’ jokes, was known to hiss vehemently that he hated cats.
The truth is, he simply had never had one. He had a wife and a mistress under the same roof, though, and for years he thought that was enough.
He was a bit of a stray himself, which is probably why he yielded when Milton came round to his door. The thing was skinny and reeking, so Schrodinger took him in and shared bits of his toast at the breakfast table. His wife and mistress made quick work of cleaning Milton up and no one scratched anybody, and things were as normal as ever.
Of course it made the jokes louder. At least he was in on it now, he told himself.
But he’d never had a cat, and this one, he thought, was a very conscious observer. Whenever Schrodinger’s gaze lifted from his eggs, even for a moment, he’d return to find less on his plate than before, and Milton was always watching him.
He told his mistress one morning that cats could not be suspended in waveforms of possibility. Milton, surely, would know his own fate and thus be the first observer — physicists be damned. His mistress frowned, made him tea, and told him he was thinking too much again.
Maybe he was. But it made him happy, he thought, as Milton purred half-asleep on his lap.
And that was more than enough.