Post-Thanksgiving Report

My family left for Texas last night. As expected many things ended up in different places than where I put them, but I’ve been able to find pretty much everything I looked for so far. Despite how nice my closet and pantry look when organized I very much doubt it will last. The only thing I couldn’t find was a clean bowl last night. It turns out bowls get used much faster by four people than by one, so I loaded the dishwasher and ate my jello desert off a plate.

While my mom was here I got her to make a cushion for Talore for my desk. It covers the corner of the desk, but has a notch for Talore’s cup of water and the squirt gun I use for discipline. All yesterday afternoon/evening Talore slept on the new pillow, and a good bit of today too, so it’s clearly appreciated.

The roomba died again today. It stopped in the middle of the room Tuesday or Wednesday when I forgot to cancel the schedule and we weren’t here, but it had also picked up a large portion of Talore’s tissue paper so I hoped that was the cause. Apparently cat hair managed to build up in the gear box to the point of jamming it again (not at all surprising). I took it apart and cleaned it before supper, then some time later started putting it all back together. After I’d put together the entire brush module I realized that I had 6 extra screws from where I’d fitted the gear box back together before I ate and didn’t realize the cover wasn’t fastened down when I got back to it. It’s all back together now and seems to be in working order, but the vacuum sometimes cuts out, so I’ll probably clean the contacts on that sometime soon.

Since I didn’t want the roomba trying to eat the things that were left on the floor while my family was here it was deactivated pretty much the entire week. That meant that kitty litter got tracked into the kitchen and wasn’t cleaned up automatically, and my mom couldn’t stand that. She got Talore a fluffly bath mat to go in front of the litter box. The first time Talore stepped on it she decided she didn’t want to walk across it and just jumped (scattering litter a bit farther than usual) but now she seems used to it and it’s doing quite a good job of catching litter (meaning it has plenty of litter on it, not that it’s 100% successful in stopping it from getting tracked into the kitchen). The problem right now is that it’s too thick for the roomba to roll over really easily, and it’s not heavy/stiff enough to prevent the roomba from just smashing it against the litter boxes. Putting the roomba in the middle of it works, but I’ll probably try taping the corners down or something.

Filthy Roomba

The roomba managed to make a bit of a mess on Sunday.

Apparently I had a bit of ice fall out of the freezer before I left for church and by the time the roomba ran the ice had turned into a puddle. The roomba ran over that spot multiple times and seems to have cleaned the dust off it’s brushes. That wouldn’t be so bad, but it has no way to pick up the water so it was smearing the now dusty water all over the kitchen floor. It now really needs to be mopped, but I don’t have one so I’ll get to it later.

The bigger problem is that I get scoopable litter for Talore, which is the stuff that clumps together when it gets wet. Since one of the primary benefits of the roomba is that it cleans up the litter Talore scoops out of the box it wasn’t surprising that it got to the litter, but the result of that was pretty bad: the damp litter stuck to the plastic around the brushes, then everything else that the brushes got stuck to the litter. I’ve made one pass at scraping all the dried stuff out of the brush area of the roomba, but it needs more work before that part will be ready to go again. The vacuum section also was picking up a little water and making mud, hopefully the filter will still work now that it’s dried out, but I need to clean that too. The bin that it sweeps stuff into is actually worse than the brush area for things stuck to it, but it’s harder to get into so I’ll probably be trying to take it apart soon.

Since the roomba has been out of action since Sunday I’ve been leaving Talore’s toys and tissue paper out. Talore has further perforated the tissue paper, but the funniest thing is that she’s managed to build up enough static charge for it to stick to her several times. Watching her walk around with half a sheet of tissue paper stuck to her side was pretty funny, as was watching her try to prowl over the corner of one and having it bend up and stick to her face. The one that got her face got smacked back to the floor pretty quickly, but the other one was tolerated.

Revived toy?

How to make a long-dead cat toy interesting again:

Let it get run over by the roomba, then spend 5+ minutes untwisting the string with the end of the string hanging down. The picture was taken after it was unwound and had been reclaimed from Talore.

I thought I’d put it out of reach of the roomba, but not quite. It was under a box which was placed such that I didn’t think it would be moved, and I had part of it under the scratching post base as an anchor anyways (I was trying to get Talore to pull on it and fight the elastic – didn’t work).

The box got moved and the side sweeper brush on the roomba caught the cord, then proceeded to wind it up. It then got dragged around the room (there are little tufts of fur in random places) till the roomba finally decided it was stuck and stopped. I nearly had to take that brush off to unwind it, but it was flexible enough I could bend the brushes to get the cord off. The fur covering for the toy was all bunched up in a tuft around its nose, but it didn’t come all the way off.

Talore watched and attacked the string while I was untangling it, then was quite happy to chase and pounce on the toy after I’d finished. She continued the work of the roomba in nearly pulling the fur loose, but eventually got distracted by the tissue paper she was walking around on (I usually put it back on the floor when the roomba is finished).