Schrödinger’s Parcel

I arrived home from work to find an over-sized parcel sitting in front of my door. It was wrapped in what looked like oil cloth which was bound in waxed string. I checked it over and found no return address, just the words FRAGILE and THIS WAY UP stamped on each side. After struggling to carry the parcel into the house I unwrapped it. Beneath the oil cloth was an old wooden crate addressed to Erwin Schrödinger. The post stamp was dated 1936.

I had heard about Schrödinger’s thought experiment known as “Schrödinger’s Cat” which involved a box about this size. Inside there would be some poison set to be released at a randomly determined time, and a cat. Until that box was opened, the cat was both alive and dead. I hoped that this was not the thought experiment put into practice because regardless of the poison, the cat would certainly be long dead by now.

I stared at the clasps sealing the crate closed. There was absolutely no way I was going to open them. But as i sat there staring at the box, I was surprised to see my hands had other ideas. I turned my head away and held my breath in preparation for the stench of putrid decay as I opened the lid.

Inside was all the components needed to carry out the experiment, including two large round eyes belonging to a cat that was very much alive.

“I’m hungry,” said the cat in an Austrian accent, “I could murder a wienerschnitzel.”

The cat jumped out of the box and started to inspect the room. I was too stunned to react. My brain was preoccupied with trying to decide which was the more absurd: a cat that had survived over 80 years in a sealed box, or the fact that the cat could talk.

“Will you stop staring at me and get me something to eat?”

It was at this moment that my dog walked in wagging his tail. He stopped when he saw the cat, sniffed the air, looked at me, looked back at the cat, back at me, and then walked out of the room with a drooping tail.

“Hey!” shouted the cat.

“What?” I snapped.

“So you can speak! Great. Now back to what matters. Can you get me something to eat?”

“Um, well, there’s some dog food in a bowl in the kitchen.”

“Dog food? Dog Food!? Do I look like a dog to you?”

I stood there unable to respond.

“Listen buster,” said the cat as he jumped on to the back of the arm chair to bring him closer to my eye level, “I managed to manipulate a Quantum Superposition into a Stasis field to keep me alive for…what year is this?”

“2017.”

The cat looked up at the ceiling, bobbing his head back and forth while counting under his breath.

“81 years.” the cat said triumphantly, “I kept myself alive for 81 years and all you have to offer me is dog food?”

I did not know what to say.

“Come on chump,” said the cat as he made his way to the kitchen, “let’s see what you’ve got.”

After going through all the cupboards, the fridge and the freezer, the cat decided on a French Omelette. While I prepared the food the cat explained in detail about the Quantum Superposition while also criticizing my cooking. I’m not going to write down the details here, if you want to know more you can Google it.

The cat had no answers as to why the thought experiment had been put into practice, or why the crate had been posted to me over 80 years later. When I asked how come he could talk, he stared at me.

“Really? I manipulated Quantum Superposition into a Stasis Field and you’re asking me how come I can talk?”

He did not answer my question, I don’t think he knew himself, instead he turned his attention to the food.

“Mm. Not bad.”

So that was how we ended up with a cat. Our daughter fell in love with him immediately and named him Teacup. That did not go down well with the cat until later when I told him what she had named the dog. Teacup acts the part of a normal cat around everybody else, but when we are alone, he just won’t shut up. Still, he is part of the family now.

I will never forget the next morning when I woke up and went to the bathroom to empty my bladder. When I opened the door I saw Teacup perched on the toilet making strained sounds with a weird, contorted look on his face. He paused what he was doing and looked over at me.

“Yeah, laugh it up! Lets see how well your bowels move after 80 years in stasis. Now give me some privacy!”

[This is an exert from my ongoing project Reality Fractured, a story in the form of a blog following someones journey through the weird events encountered in a town once perceived to be normal. If your interested in seeing more, check it out at http://realityfractured.blogspot.co.uk/]