Phrase that represents the common and culturally accepted misinterpretation of the famous thought experiment created by Erwin Schrödinger, which describes a scenario in which a cat is placed in a box with radioactive material and a flask of poison. If a monitor in the box detects radiation, it will trip a mechanism that kills the cat.
The experiment was created to challenge the then commonly-accepted views on quantum mechanics, as physicists would have considered the cat simultaneously alive and dead. Schrödinger's point was that this view is ridiculous and does not comply with reality. However, many people today misinterpret the experiment, citing it in scenarios in which an important decision will lead to two different paths, and, before the decision is made, each path is equally plausible and, therefore, equally "real." Though philosophically a nice concept, it is still an incorrect interpretation. Using the phrase "Schlonginger's cat" to refer to this interpretation helps avoid confusion and academic frustration.
Jane: Before I decide my major, I guess I'm a student in both botany and physics... It's just like Schrödinger's cat!
Susie: I think you mean "Schlonginger's cat." You should stick to botany.
Bobby: I've narrowed it down. In this box, there's either a dog or a cat. Until I open the box, it's Schrödinger's catdog!
Billy: No, it's Schlonginger's catdog. Also, that box is purring.