Jack originally wrote this post yesterday then pressed the wrong button and lost it all, so this has been completely re-written from memory and with help from Wendy – sigh – – –
We have a new pet called Whiskers. Ever since he arrived he’s been nosing around all the corners of the house. He roams about bumping into things before continuing in and out and roundabout. Our cats and the dawg don’t know quite what to make of him as he hums to himself and swirls his whiskers.
He is a robot vacuum cleaner we inherited from friends David and Susan, who upgraded. So Whiskers came to live with us.
I originally thought he was a she – a kind of house maid, but whiskers on a house maid didn’t seem appropriate so I soon realized that he’s a Butler. He does talk to us when he needs things in an oddly feminine voice but I suppose he got the housemaid to record the messages. I wasn’t sure to start with what he should be fed, but it turned out to be small portions of electricity which he obtains from his quaintly named ‘charging port’. When he needs to be fed he tells us and I place him in front of the charging port, whereupon he positions himself and parallel parks.
Wendy says I murmur to him like a cat when carrying him to the charger.
I love just watching him roaming around, bumping into things, changing direction, avoiding my feet and the other pets! He’s very conscientious, doing the corners twice, always returning to straight line, not missing even an inch.
I recently read, on the BBC website, that one of his English relatives escaped out the door of a hotel and vacuumed the parking lot before ending up being rescued from a hedge. I’m sure that after appropriate re-education he now knows where he belongs. And we keep the doors closed so Whiskers doesn’t get out.
Being a Presbyterian Scot turned Quaker I, of course, don’t believe in these kinds of modern technology. I only ever ‘inherit’ them against my will. As I often say to friends – “the dishwasher was already here”. But Whiskers doesn’t really feel so much like tech as like an agreeable housemate who’s good at floors.