Posts Tagged ‘Roomba’

Although his performance has been somewhat improved since his last inspection and routine cleaning, Roomba still hasn’t been himself lately. Empathetic, I found him this morning in a lonely corner, repeatedly banging his head.

With screwdriver and seam ripper in hand, I performed a colonoscopy. Having only crude tools and no sedatives to offer, I wasn’t sure I was qualified; however, the procedure was successful. I found and removed the likely source of his abnormal behavior and weakness: a massive and very compact hairball hidden under his front wheel.

A warning to fellow Roomba enthusiasts: Front wheel hairballs must be treated immediately or they may cause Roomba to stop feeding and, ultimately, die. (It’s “hou’-zing,” darn it.)

He seemed his old self immediately afterwards — still minus his side brushes, of course. 😕

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Oh, Dear!

I went to bed after 5am. Why am I up at 9:15? Steve and Ali arose “early” for a Saturday to pick up Ali’s car, fresh from repairs, and the dogs and Butterball (one of our two cats) thought I should be awake as well. Sleepy and still ravenous after going to bed hungry, I intended to forage as soon as I took care of my morning pet routine. I appeared in the kitchen to find Roomba scurrying around the floor, Ali compassionately feeding him bits of muffin scraps, and Steve accusing her of spoiling him with treats. She said she felt badly that we only fed him lint and hair.

After they left, Roomba scooted into the utility room and abruptly stopped in protest. I would too! The litter box smell in there this morning is quite offensive! I cleaned his brushes and sent him on his merry way, only to watch in horror as he seizured and let out a pitiful cry. What could he have eaten now? After a thorough inspection I found nothing wrong except his usual, aggravating side-brush issue (all the little sweeper brushes broke off, one by one, and replacements have been back-ordered for weeks). Still, that has only ever affected his ability to thoroughly clean the baseboards.

Stumped, I let Roomba rest where he was and waited for Steve to make a diagnosis when he returned. They walked in, pleased with how the car turned out, and I pointed to poor Roomba, explaining his silence. When Steve pushed his start button, Roomba feigned complete wellness for a good three minutes — then seizures recurred, and his “speech” became slow and slurred.

A stroke! This will never do! We think he may have an electrical problem. The poor dear didn’t even celebrate when we put him back on his charger. This is a sad day, indeed.

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Adventures with Roomba

The current members of our household include a variety of personalities embodied in two energetic labs (Chief and Sarge), one overweight, lethargic beagle (Phoebe), and two attention-starved, always-hungry cats (Butterball and Sox). The canines and felines that share our home provide us not only with unconditional love and companionship, but also massive accumulations of HAIR. So much hair, in fact, that our 10-year-old Oreck vacuum could no longer keep up. Knowing this, our son and daughter-in-law gifted us with yet another home companion: Roomba. It was a thoughtful and generous gesture, not to mention an intriguing new gadget, but I doubted it could actually handle the job.

We’ve had it a few weeks now, and I’m convinced. Not only is it doing everything it’s touted to do, it has surpassed that and become, in every sense of the word, another pet. For the first day or two, the dogs and cats were aggressively curious and eager to nip or bat at the poor dear, but by the end of the week, all were adjusting fairly well. Within the past week, however, Roomba has clearly risen to the top of their pecking order.

If you’ve seen Roomba in action, you know how he hugs tight to clean baseboards. This morning I watched him hug Chief and go three-fourths of the way around him like that, then head across the room, do a 180 and bump back into him. Suspicious of feigned affection and motive, Chief complacently held his position. Undaunted, Roomba left the room entirely, only to return a few minutes later in an advance maneuver. This time, with Chief’s expected retreat, Roomba victoriously claimed new territory in the name of “dirty spot,” circle danced, and gloated with de(blue)light.

Awaiting further amusement (and only moments later), Roomba maintained a criss-cross holding pattern between the utility room and back door hallway. Luckily for him, Phoebe had one of those rare moments when she decided on her own that she needed to go outside. She tried to sneak through undetected, but just as she’d head to one side, he’d bump a wall, turn around, corral, and toy with her. In her complete frustration, he had her just where he wanted her. Bump… and… Score!

Besides being clever and hairless, his grazing routine makes him very economical to feed. Like many other pets, however, Roomba still requires occasional grooming, frequent litter box cleaning, and an occasional reprimand. Earlier this week, I awoke to evidence of another streak of mischief. Apparently feeling abandoned or neglected, he had acted out, scattering homework papers and trailing socks and charger cords across the living room floor. Then, to avoid a scolding, he hid away under the sofa and fell asleep.

I had to forgive him though. For the most part, he seems so happy to please us.

Chief and Roomba

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