Challenge #02091-E267: Schrödinger's Bounty
"How did the cat get inside a locked cupboard?"
"It's an incomplete Schrödinger." -- Anon Guest
Krissk stared at his Human companion. "How is a thought experiment on the nature of the Uncertainty Principle at all related to the presence of a feline in a locked box with no other exits?"
Human Jan said, "It's because of the Uncertainty Principle that cats can teleport," with a completely straight face. "That's how they get into places and things that they physically should never be able to get into."
Krissk was already composing a post on this conversation for the infonets. "I do not understand this chain of illogic, Jan."
"Okay. First up, the Uncertainty Principle is too limited. A cat in a box can have multiple states of being. Alive, dead, buggered off, bloody furious..." Human Jan made a noise of discovery in the back of his throat. "And about to give birth, apparently. Anyway. Because cats can escape any container they don't want to be in, and get into places that they should never be in, the third potential state - buggered off - allows for feline teleportation. It's simple, really."
The offending cat, meanwhile, was licking a brand new skitten clean and purring.
"I'm more alarmed about this newest state of being," said Krissk. "We've been in this ship for three Standard Months. That cupboard has been locked for equally as long. When the flakk did we get a pregnant Skitty?"
Human Jan shrugged. "Skitty-scats go where they want, dude." He was smiling. "But look - we're uncles. Their momma might belong to her origin station, but these skittens? Legally ours. People could pay a fortune for each of these little bundles of joy."
Krissk looked down at the wet, blind, trembling, squirming, and tiny creatures as they fumbled through the first minutes of their existence. He tried to fit them in the same neighbourhood as the phrase "pay a fortune" and failed. They were so small and fragile. "Enough to pay for a re-routing, the schedule fines, and assorted trouble associated with suddenly owning..." he paused to count. "Eight... nine Skitties?"
"We have no control over where a Skitty decides to birth her litter. There's laws to protect us," Human Jan let the mother Skitty sniff his knuckles, then carefully ran his fingers along her head and side. Since she was amenable to that much contact, Jan then stroked a careful finger along a couple of skitten backs. "The shipping company will understand. They'll probably want one of the girl skittens as part of their cut. We'll still rake it in anyway. Especially if we also keep a girl skitten."
Now Krissk could see the direct path between this litter and immense profits. As had thousands before him who had managed to get their hands on a legally-theirs litter of skittens. Which was how Skitties managed to get everywhere that intelligent life could plausibly gather and raise cats together. "I still wish to know how this Skitty managed to get inside a sealed space."
"Teleportation, my dude. Hey. If you want to spoil the magic, you can probably check the securicams. I'd like to keep the mystery if you don't mind."
Krissk let Human Jan keep his mystery. Humans were just as profitable as the skittens. More so.
"I'm calling that one Ginger."
"They're all ginger..."
"Yeah, but that one's the ginger-est."
[AN: Props and thanks to today's donor, Gingerrpeachyy. I nearly forgot to do something with your username, but I managed to name a Skitty after you. Thanks so much for the coffee!]
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