Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Litter Robot

The kids have been sick the past couple of days. With Gene's new job (redeployed inside Cat back in April) he doesn't have his past flexibility. We used to tag team sick days where I'd go in to work in the morning and he'd go in the afternoon. Now he's in charge of running tests on air flow (?) and he has to be present. I missed my first full days of work due to sick kids. I felt stressed and guilty about it. When I miss work my coworkers are really strained because obviously, caring for the animals can't wait until another day. It's almost like getting punished for showing up to work because you get all kinds of extra work added to your day. I thought about how many people I've covered over the years and got over my guilt.

Kaylin had a fever and sore throat and Logan had an awful cough and snot that makes me shudder to think about. So we were all home and bored out of our gourds, but I didn't want them to have too much fun because I don't want them to stay home unless they're REALLY sick. They weren't allowed to go outside or play with any bikes, go karts, etc. They weren't allowed to fight. The big thrill of our sick days was watching the cats use their new litter box.

Don't worry, it's not as disgusting as it sounds! We weren't watching them do their actual business. That would be impossible since their business is now done inside a giant orb. It was actually the cats' interactions with the giant orb that were hilarious.

Gene decided he was tired of scooping. He was tired of litter box stink. He was tired of having two stinky boxes and went searching for a solution. He found his solution on Gene purchased the Litter Robot. The Cadillac of litter boxes. The solution to all his woes. The most expensive pet supply ever! The Litter Robot arrived in a box large enough for both children to fit inside. It is gigantic. It is basically a large orb sitting on top of a large base. When the cat enters the orb to do his business, the Litter Robot senses his presence and cycles seven minutes later when the cat is safely gone. What happens is the entire orb rotates almost 365 degrees while sifting the litter. The clumps remain and when the orb rotates enough, the clumps fall into a sealed chamber in the base. The orb then rotates back to its original position with only clean litter. Each cycle takes maybe a minute.

What is interesting or funny about it? Well, when a cat approaches the Robot while it's cycling, it stops immediately. If the orb or the step to the orb is touched, all motion stops until ~10 seconds after the cat is gone. Tiger was so interested in the motion of this thing, he couldn't leave it alone. He just kept stopping it, letting it start and stopping it again. He totally had it figured out, but he couldn't stop playing with it. Then, when the cycle finally did complete, he'd jump right back inside so the cycle would start again in seven minutes. Over and over. Lather, rinse, repeat. Simon was interested, but watched the first few cycles from the safety of the pool table. Eventually, Simon got into the action. Now the one minute cycles were taking ten minutes to complete. It was funny! So yeah, we spent the better part of an afternoon watching the cats play with their new litter box. I'm ready to go back to work :)

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