There 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.