While traveling over the past five weeks I was on hiatus from Food for Thought. I needed to get away from my own words and thoughts, to clear my mind and refresh my imagination. What better place to do so than deep in the Siuslaw National Forest? I was not disturbed by the internet, wi-fi, Facebook, TV and the world. My only neighbors were the bears, birds, bees and bunnies who kept us company. I spent my days reading, writing, reflecting, rejecting outside influences and picking our wild Himalayan Blackberries. Blackberry cobbler became our daily dessert.
Yet, as always, that nudging, poking, finger of creativity kept me aware and en garde. I wrote continuously in my journals. I was planting seeds, germinating stories. Eventually, “Bliss Hill,” my Oregon world, my thoughts, nature and the value of beloved neighbors will appear in Food for Thought.
Back in Tampa I am percolating. My thoughts and words are brewing. Yet, my desire to connect with fellow readers and writers is constant. The solution is to share the stories of others. Following is a tale told by Pat, Tim’s art student, as she shared with him ten years ago.
Pat adored her cat. One sad day she came home and found her pet badly hurt, lying at the end of her driveway. She picked her kitty up, gently wrapped her in a blanket and raced to the veterinarian, Pat's heart was in her throat as she drove. The vet charged her $75 for an examination and determined her beloved pet couldn’t be saved and had to be euthanized.
Pat was heartbroken. She drove home, sobbing all the while. Once home, she dug a grave. This was not an easy task for an 80-year-old woman. At the gravesite she expressed her love and grief to her faithful, departed companion. Still heartbroken and grieving, Pat related this tragic event to Tim at his next art class.
Update, to Tim a week later, at their art class:
Pat heard a loud thumping at her back door. There was her cat, hungry, bedraggled and angry. Pat welcomed, rejoiced, and rewarded her dear friend with a well-deserved meal. She told Tim, in amazement, “That damn cat came back.”
So, whose cat had Pat taken to the vet, euthanized, and buried in her backyard? Schrödinger's cat? Did two cats exist at the same time, in different planes?
I am not a physicist, scientist or mathematician. I know nothing of quantum mechanics. As Tim posited, this story illustrates Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment in quantum mechanics, “Superposition.” A blur of reality, half one existence alive, another dead in quantum reality.
(For more information, go to Schrödinger's cat: https:// tinyurl.com/4k7npja9, https://tinyurl.com/cuzh6atx, https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Schrodingers-cat). This idea is also called by more negative terms by scientists who refute this 1935 theory. But hey, we've got to start somewhere.
Whatever the theory of Schrödinger's cat, Pat was thrilled to have the return of her pet. She never learned who the deceased cat was, now buried in her backyard.
This tale is a story that connects one thought, one idea, to another. If Tim had not told me of Pat’s cat and Schrödinger's cat theory, I never would have learned a tiny aspect of quantum mechanics. Pat’s story opened a door into the world of science and quantum physics which I am still tiptoeing through into this jungle of science.
I also had a good laugh at life’s obscurities. Schrödinger's cat theory or not, who could not love a story of a resurrected pet? Stephen King certainly had fun with that idea!
Postscript: We had been gone from our Tampa home for five weeks. On our return, Tim resumed his daily morning walks. He looked forward to greeting and being chased by the neighborhood kitties on his otherwise solitary walks. For the first three days after our return he saw none of his feline friends. His favorite kitty is a long-haired, burnt sienna, white, chocolate-eared cat, who looks part Siamese. Tim looked for her daily but his furry buddy was nowhere about. On the fourth day he passed the driveway and the kitty ran towards him from beneath a car, meowing and chasing him. He knelt down and gave her a very good rub. She continued to meow, rolling over, paws in the air, begging for more. Another neighborhood cat, who Tim calls Mr. Orange, arrived to investigate. A cat-love-fest ensued until Tim gave final rubs to both kitties and continued on his walk.
Cat tales. Who can resist the love of animals, the real affection, the recognition of a beloved face or hand? Not exactly quantum mechanics but a connection between time and space, humans and animals.
Good news is always a gift to share. Pat would be thrilled we unearthed her cat tale with my faithful readers and writers.
What do you think? Is this tale a good example of Schrödinger's Cat Theory or just a good cat tale?
As always, I would love to hear your comments.