One has to wonder what Erwin Schrodinger would think if he read this story.
This is the story of something that happened on the Live Journal social networking site in 2005. It all started when a member by the name of City_glitter (real name Ama) went out to dinner with her father. They had a meal and watched a movie but when they returned home they were heartbroken to find that someone had taken their pet cat Shro and set fire to him. Although Shro (short for Schrodinger) was able to survive such horrific injuries and the vet has assured the family that he’ll live, the vet bills for the surgery that the cat needs will cost $5,000 and Ama’s father doesn’t see the point in paying that much on a cat when it can be painlessly put out of it’s misery. The story is repeatedly linked to and hundreds of members offer support, even going so far as to start a collection for Shro and setting up a system to get the money to Ama.
Three days later a member by the name of Foxfur (real name Meg) starts questioning City_glitter’s story. She knows that no vet would operate on an animal that soon after it has been burned. She starts getting in touch with the police, local news, national media, the SPCA and even the clinic where the cat was reportedly taken, looking for proof that it happened. None of them have heard a thing about it and she reports this on Live Journal. She also points out the name of the cat as a possible sign of deception in this case and urges people to check up on it themselves. Of course, this being the internet and, being a relatively new member compared to Ama, Meg was repeatedly shouted down and a virtual mob formed out for her blood.
It was at this point that Ama admitted she’d made the whole thing up. She claims she was trying to restore her lost faith in humanity through this experiment, and claims that she’s refunded all the money she gained (the comments say differently), which was reportedly in the thousands. Meg, disgusted at the way she’d been treated by people and how few bothered to apologise to her, deleted her page and left the community shortly after. As for me, I was just happy that Schrodinger’s cat was finally out of the bag, whether that cat existed or not, so I sat on the sidelines for a while, enjoying the fallout.