Romancing the Roomba

startright-cessna-type-gyro-suction-gage-800pxThere are two things that should never share the same house: cats and carpets.

Don’t get me wrong, our cats love our carpet. Perhaps a little too much.

They sleep on it. They wallow around on it. They groom themselves on it and they bathe on it – and oh yeah, they barf on it too, and every time they do one of these things, they leave a little more of themselves on it. It’s a constant battle to keep the carpet from becoming mostly cat.

But we do what we can. We brush their fur. We vacuum incessantly. We mop up their little surprises. Still we cannot keep up.

The simple solution would be to get rid of the cats – but we love them despite their bad habits and they tolerate us, despite our bad habits.

What we need is something more motivated to clean than the cats are to make a mess.

What we need is a Roomba.

For anyone not up on such things, a Roomba is a robotic vacuum that looks and behaves like an overgrown hockey puck.

All you do is switch it on and let it slowly ricochet around the house. It cleans wherever it goes and it goes everywhere. It may not be as powerful as a regular vacuum cleaner but what it lacks in brawn, it makes up in persistence.

At first we feared it might become a nuisance by getting underfoot, much like the cats – but over time we got used to it and found the little guy to be an appealing household companion.

It eats fur without choking up hairballs. It discretely slurps our messes and while it cannot remove stains, it greatly reduces our risk of stepping on unpleasant surprises in the dark.

In many ways, it fits our lifestyle better than the cats.

It doesn’t shed or leap up on the cupboards. It doesn’t sleep on the computer or hiss at other household appliances. When it gets hungry, it feeds itself at the docking station. When it gets full, it beeps for us to empty its dustbin and guess what – there is no eye-watering stench.

While the cats hold us in utter contempt, the Roomba is downright affectionate. It greets us at the door when we get home and purrs in our wake as we walk around the house – and in the evening, it putters over to our easy chairs and invites us to rest our feet on its warm deck.

Later when we retire to the bedroom, we are forced to lock out our misbehaving cats but not so the Roomba, and in the night if perchance we do neglect to let it in, it gently thumps against the door until we do.

The little guy then purrs around the room, soothing us back to sleep and later… if we find it whining beside the bed, we will gently lift it up and let it snuggle under the covers.

Author: Almost Iowa

29 thoughts on “Romancing the Roomba”

  1. I laughed when I heard a news report this morning about the latest Roomba rumble. It seems the little darlings not only clean, they also map the interior of your house, and the company’s thinking about selling that info to who knows whom: Amazon, etc. Here’s the NY Times article.

    1. I always thought it odd, how scooted over to eavesdrop on my conversations. This might also explain the source of leaks at the White House..

  2. My friends have a vacuum that sounds like yours. They definitely don’t keep it on all the time, lol. Neither, I’m guessing do you. Now that I think about it though, I have just spent a longer time cleaning up and vacuuming after my grandchildren then they had making the mess and crumbs and papers and leaves and and and. Maybe keeping it on all the time is a pretty good idea. Funny and interesting post.

  3. Never heard of this before, but it sounds darned useful. And as cat staff ourselves, we certainly recognise (and identify with!) the fact they they treat you with utter contempt.

  4. Funny story. Thanks for the giggles. No pets, but I could use one of those Roomba critters too. I leave my own hair balls around the house. Hopefully, it would catch those dust bunnies that hide under my bed and sofa. Snuggling? Not sure about that one. It might catch me too.

  5. I think you have found the perfect pet! Instead of creating a constant mess, it is constantly cleaning up the mess! I’m going to have to look into getting one of those…..

  6. Boy, do I identify with this one. There’s no way though that I would get one of these things. I’d bring it in and introduce it to the cat. And ask the cat’s permission to use it. Before I know what hit me, the cat would have the remote and the darn thing would be chasing me.

  7. With two cats, three dogs, and two horses, we are forever cleaning up after them. Stanley Steamer has been out twice in the last two weeks to sanitize and deodorize our runners and rugs. They smell much better lying on our concrete driveway than in our house even after all this treatment. So do our pets. I’m pretty sure we are working for the pets and they are the homeowners now. Not sure I could handle another thing running around our feet but I’m glad it’s working for you.

  8. Not sure about snuggling under the covers. But a Roomba might be a good companion to the dog who is staying with us. He runs outside among the leaves then sheds the outdoors indoors with every step.

  9. Very enjoyable post. Hard to believe someond didn’t know ‘barf’ – clearly not a cat owner. Good to know that it cleans up hair without clogging and barf without further incident. Our Irish Setter will clean up cat puke, but…The roomba would hzvd to be faster than the pup, and, if it is, she would chase it and kill it. I guess I’ll stick with ghetto wife-powered model.

  10. Apparently I got the runt of the Roomba litter. After weeks of frustration with the thing, I gave it away. Actually, I put it out next to the dumpster with a note attached: “Works, but we just couldn’t get along.” I presume whoever picked it up is giving it a good home.

    1. I put it out next to the dumpster with a note attached: “Works, but we just couldn’t get along.

      Out here in the country, we have a problem with town people leaving puppies, kittens and robotic household appliances in our ditches. It’s sad to find yet another too young kitten with its eyes crusted over wailing for its mother, or at least a sympathetic household.

      We do what we can, the kittens become barn cats (always welcome at bin sites) and the dogs get dropped off at the Animal Shelter; they stand a better chance of adoption than the cats. It is tough though, the shelter people know us well and groan when they see us.

      But saddest of all, are those robotic household appliances, we find them puttering faintly on the last of their battery power, searching in vain for any two-pronged outlet. Those, we recharge then release back in town in the Target parking lot.

    1. Make sure you get a sweet tempered one. Some are too anti-social to be much good. They will eat your slippers without the slightest remorse.

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