It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend here, so I thought I’d lighten the mood with some unrelated stories today to get my mind off S-3D.
I am lazy, and I’ll be the first to admit it. More than that, I will spend top dollar and go through the maximum effort to maintain my laziness. For example, when my wife bugged me for not doing the dishes, I bought a dishwasher. However, I have also made other investments that I think you may consider unusual to maintain my lazy stature.
As you know, we love our cats. A few years ago, my wife adopted her first cat named Cuddles. Cuddles is an awesome animal. She lives up to her name by jumping on your lap, squeaking at every occasion, and being friendly to everyone who meets her. She’s really special and something else.
She only has one problem. She doesn’t bury. Every few hours, my wife would have to cover up Cuddles’ alarming stench by sifting litter over her leavings. For a time, this was acceptable.
When my wife and I moved in together, Cuddles met my cat, Tuo-Te (ask me what his name means, there’s a funny story behind that). Tuo-Te is equally friendly, but he’s a man’s cat. He is always in the room with you watching what you are doing. If you open a box, he’ll jump in, if you open the fridge door, he needs to see what’s on the shelf. He enjoys watching the morning news before you go to work. His mind is as sharp as a whip, and his facial expressions say it all.
Cuddles (left), and Tuo-Te (right)
Well, when the cats met, Tuo-Te was on his best behavior. We put each of their litter boxes on either side of the room, and while we expected the occasional scuffle from a first introduction, we were not prepared for what was going to happen.
When Cuddles came in, Tuo-Te just watched her enter, and was fascinated by her. We think he’s in love with her. Unfortunately, Cuddles only returned the affection later on in their relationship. This was acceptable to Tuo-Te.
What was unacceptable was when Cuddles decided to leave her…mark…in Tuo-Te’s litter box. A big brown stinky mark. Tuo-Te was horrified! He kept alternating between looking at us and his litter box as if asking “Well?!?!? What are you going to do about this?!?”
From that point forward, Tuo-Te spent his days lying near his box, defending it from further Cuddles attacks.
One day, Cuddles went in her box, and my wife held off burying it because she was in the middle of something. The smell was really bad, and Tuo-Te had enough. He went into Cuddles’ box and buried it for her!
Well, something had to be done. Pam and I didn’t want to have to run to the box every time Cuddles had to go, and it was unfair to Tuo-Te to be left guarding his castle all day, so we bought an electric litter box. $200 later, we thought we had the perfect solution with the Littermaid.
After a cat goes to the bathroom, the machine runs a plastic rake through the litter, and scoops the clumps into a plastic receptacle. It works! However, it’s still plenty stinky. We bought the canopy that goes with it, but Cuddles broke it by sleeping on it. We had to buy surrounding rugs because litter was being tracked everywhere when the cats would get out of the box. My wife was always bothered by the smell, so she would be constantly spraying air freshener. Cleaning it was not a dream either, and while I bought the box to avoid this hassle, guess whose job it was to clean it? However, for our little Cuddles, it was all worth it.
We went through THREE of those Littermaids! We joke that when Cuddles goes, she REALLY goes, and the Littermaid wasn’t designed for that. The machines goes whirrrrrrrrrr, whir, whir, whir, whirrrrrrrr….BOOM! And then we have to buy another one.
Then we got a Purrforma. That was a mistake. Our Littermaid had broken that day, and the only box they had was this more expensive, more cumbersome model. We were told it was much better than the Littermaid – yeah, right! It stank ALL the time. The receptacle where the bags are stored wasn’t properly covered. You needed to buy special bags, special filters, special everything – it was a real pain. Cleaning was a huge nightmare – it was just awful.
Even though it was still under warranty, we were very thankful when it broke down so we could buy yet another litter solution.
Our latest contraption is the “Littersweep Ulta”. Now THIS is a box that can be MTBS certified! Instead of a rake that has to push itself through the litter, this unit works more like a mixing bowl that spins the pan, and pushes the litter through the rake. It’s a bit loud, but it does a much better cleaning job. It can take standard bags, it doesn’t require my wife to make a new air freshener biohazard, and you can go several days without having to clean it. And cleaning is a breeze!
So, in an effort to maintain my lazy lifestyle, I have easily spent $1,000+ on cat litter boxes.
My wife and I recently went through a move, and we wanted to clean the old place up before we left. The thing about moving is once the furniture is out, you discover all the dirt and dust that you never knew about. It was pretty bad.
Well, my wife and I were shopping one night, and we were struck by a sale on Roomba’s. The Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner that literally vacuums the room for you. It can be scheduled to work certain hours and in certain rooms, and is intended to let you press a button and leave it to do the dirty work. Well, with a tight schedule on our hands, and it being my birthday at the time, I decided to splurge!
The Roomba is shaped like a small disk, about the size of two bodybuilding weights stacked on each other. It comes with a remote control and a few wall sensors so the Roomba knows where one room ends and another begins.
For an inanimate object, the Roomba has a lot of character. It makes a series of friendly beeps when you turn it on, it moves with purpose, and you can’t help but be impressed by the way it finds its charging station and automatically parks itself.
We cleared up two rooms at the old apartment, charged the little guy up, and let it go to work. Looking at the large dust bunnies on the floor, we felt very guilty about sending it off to work in such dangerous territory – but we were hungry, and we needed the work done while we were getting a bite to eat.
The Roomba did a really good job. It circled the room, went in the closets, cleaned the edges of the walls – everything. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the time saver we hoped it would be because we were so fascinated by it, we couldn’t leave the room!
It will be interesting to see how our cats react to Roomba in the new apartment. Will Tuo-Te try to ride it? Will Roomba chase Cuddles down the hall? Time will tell.
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