Monday, January 01, 2007
The Roomba and the Cats
As some of you know, I have 7 indoor only feline family members. They are all rescues, before someone gives me any grief. This leads to both lots of shed hair needing vacuuming and some hilarious moments at their expense.

I had been curious about the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners for a while and several friends have one and reported good results. When I found one for a price I considered acceptable for an experiment, I ordered it. After a week or so it arrived and I couldn't wait to try it out. C unpacked and set it up, all while being dubious but it proved itself on the first run by how much it did manage to pick up. No more poopooing from C.

About a week later, C and I were sitting on the couch on our respective laptops after M had gone to bed and we suddenly heard a beeping. We both looked at our laptops, made sure they weren't beeping, then asked each other if it was the other person's laptop.

Then we looked around and realized the beeping was coming from the Roomba and Alex (our 18 lb orange tabby) was staring at it with huge eyes and a puffed tail. Then it backed up off its docking station (heading toward Alex) and the cat lit off at a surprisingly fast clip for the Fat Cat.

C and I were almost falling off the couch laughing. The buttons are all on top of the Roomba and Alex must have managed to turn it on - then it chased him!

The next morning I was feeding the cats and getting ready to leave for work and I saw Alex over by the Roomba again. This time he was creeping up on it, tail lashing and his body as flattened to the ground as possible. He then reached out a paw, patted the Roomba, then ran.

I about died laughing again.

A day or so later we got home to discover that the Roomba was off its dock and stuck under the sofa. They had managed to power it up while we were at work.

Then another few days later, I was sitting on the couch with my laptop again and I heard the beeping. This time I knew where to look and I see Merlin, our grumpy (and somewhat dense) old man cat is sitting ON the Roomba while it's beeping. He clearly doesn't seem to realize what is about to happen because he looks merely confused by the noise and makes no effort to leave.

Then the Roomba starts to back up and Merlin falls OFF it! He looks at me as I'm rolling in laughter - seemingly confused and a bit annoyed but not panicked like Alex had been.

Now they seem more used to it and less inclined to play with it - which is both good and bad....


  1. LOL. This was the second Roomba post I found today. Made me smile.

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