This really happened to me. No, I am not Ok. I doubt I will ever be OK. I got my wife a Roomba for her birthday. I had no idea those things were so expensive, but I found an amazing deal on a used one, and was able to bring our home one step closer to the Robotopia that I have always dreamed of. She spent the first few days playing with the Roomba, affectionately referred to as “Robit” [row-bit, long O], letting it zoom around and get acquainted with its new home.
She put its charging dock in the pantry and set an auto-schedule for it to clean up the cat litter off the floor (what the cats kick out of the box every time they enter or exit it) every day at 5am. This was really the whole impetus for the robot in the first place. She’s god damn sick of cleaning up cat litter every day, and I’m god damn sick of walking on cat litter when I go into the pantry to get food, thus making me think of food and cat litter simultaneously, WHICH inevitably makes me stop thinking about food all together (diet idea: surround all your food with cat shit). I am rarely asleep at 5am because I have crazy-artist crazy-work-from-home hours, so for the first couple of days I would hear Robit wake up, do it’s little litter dance for about 10 minutes, beep to tell me it was done and shimmy back into his docking station. If he could eat treat biscuits, you’d better believe I’d have given him one. It was a technological marvel. The next day, the pantry would be free of cat litter’s foul crunch under foot and no humans were harmed in the process.
On the third or fourth night, I heard Robit do his business and dock himself, then the house was just ENGULFED in stink. One of the cats, Replay, doesn’t like to cover up his poops. I assumed he’d just dropped a particularly gnarly one without covering it, and went to investigate. I opened the pantry door and It was like that scene in Se7en when they find the “living corpse.” 100,000 pine-scented air fresheners wouldn’t have abated the horrors I was facing. As the panels above illustrate, one of the cats, finding his box too full, had decided to use the floor as a bathroom. Robit, being a cold, unfeeling, emotionless machine who only follows his predetermined directives with no regard for human well being or the consequences of his actions, plowed right through it. Those of you who don’t live with cats probably don’t know that where as an unbroken cat turd smells bad, a BROKEN/SMUSHED cat turd is an ENTIRELY different animal. There’s some sort of natural protective sausage casing that the cat produces which somehow shields the secret stench within the poop. I can only assume this is an evolutionary necessity in order to facilitate the symbiosis of the domestic feline and the humans that house and feed it.
My Fancy Patrons got to read this comic before anyone else!
It was a horror show. Not only was the stench truly overpowering and blinding, but Robit had managed to run over the poop FIRST and THEN do his 10 minute “cleaning routine,” spreading… no, PAINTING the entire floor in concentric doodles of despair. Not only was the floor forever unclean, but Robit had managed to “gum up the works,” so to speak, with as much or more than he Jackon Pollack’d the pantry with. It was in his wheels, in his gears, in the brushes and the filter. Like I said. A horror show. The odd thing is, this happens with human babies all the time. They poop seemingly more than the interior volume of their small bodies and it manages to get from toes to forehead before you realize what has happened.
The deal with babies is, you LOVE them. You would do ANYTHING for them. You HAVE to keep them alive and you HAVE to stop whatever important, grown up business you are working on and de-poop the baby. The trade off is the human baby’s CPU is deep, deep inside a rather remarkable water proof casing, and its exterior shell is incredibly supple, yet resilient and stain resistant. You can actually put an entire human baby in the bath tub (NOT dishwasher safe) and hose them down. Robit, on the other hand, had to be almost entirely disassembled, expunged of poops and reassembled. It was not a task for the faint of heart, which is why I let my wife do it. “Here, Honey. I bought you a robot to make your life easier. Just one thing… you need to take out a million tiny screws, swab out about a gallon of cat shits, disinfect it AND yourself, them piece the Satanic, mechanized jigsaw back together before it can start with the life making easier stuff. HAPPY BIRTHDAY I’M GREAT!”