poet Dónall Dempsey

Dónall Dempsey

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Schrodinger's Dog (Being An After Birthday Poem For Miss Ruthie)

Schrödinger's cat

Schrödinger's dog

was always

under his feet

hungry for
...his Master's voice...a pat...the sound of his step...

The cat
(like anybody's cat)

couldn't give
a toss

(but that was neither
here nor there) .

It's hard to tell

if it's alive or if
it ain't.

It 's one
lazzzzzzy cat.

He's never there
(when you want him to be)

and always there
(when you don't want him to be.)

Quark the cat
was just one big paradox.

The dog
was old and faithful

in the box

asleep or gnawing
a bone in thought.

The cat couldn't care

a source
of constant


about its

and the state
of its health.


here nor

or somewhere
else entirely

as if it lived
in a parallel universe.

Lived in a world
of its own.

Thus the theory of
Schrödinger's Cat

(beyond doubt)

that although
cats are nice an' all dat

are a scientist's

best friend.


In 1935, Schrödinger published an essay describing the conceptual problems in quantum mechanics. A brief paragraph in this essay described the cat paradox:

One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following diabolical device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat) : in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of one hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The first atomic decay would have poisoned it. The Psi function for the entire system would express this by having in it the living and the dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.[


There was a leak in my cistern in the brain stem. I didn't like to play dice with my universe so I called a quantum mechanic in. I asked him if it was bad. He said: Well, it is or it isn't...depending on how you look at it.. It's good for me...bad for you! '

'Now, about that cat? '

'Not that old chestnut....the cat is over 70 now...just fix the cistern will ya! I had the cat poisoned...so that's that! '

'Ohhhhh! '

'Anyway...it was a hypothetical cat! '

'Ya mean it wasn't real? '

'Oh...what is real?

He seemed considerably saddened by this and left without charging for the cistern.
I hate when after all this time Animal Rights activists disguise themselves plumbers in order to rescue the bloody cat that is neither alive or dead.

Next time it leaks...I'll call a vet.

Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 6, 2009
Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Comments about ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Schrodinger's Dog (Being An After Birthday Poem For Miss Ruthie) by Dónall Dempsey

  • Ruth Walters (12/6/2009 1:22:00 PM)

    Very interesting, I'd not heard about Schrödinger and the cat before! The poem was good too and kind of funny but not for the cat; o)
    Ruthie: o)

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