May 16, 2013

Cat Tales: The little red spaceship sweeps the floors

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A few years ago when I first saw on TV a robotic floor cleaner that twirls around and picks up dust all by itself, I thought to myself, “How lazy can a person get?”

But five cats and a million hairballs later, I changed my mind.

At my suggestion, my sister bought my mother one of those robotic floor cleaners for Mother’s Day. It looks like a spaceship. It is a red, round object with black mesh around it that swirls around the floor and, when it runs into something, it runs in the opposite direction. It has a cloth under the mesh similar to a Swifter that picks up pet hair, dust, cobwebs, and most other small particles.

It’s called an O cedar O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaner with auto-navigation. It changes directions when objects and walls are detected. It’s perfect for us because all of our floors are wood, with the exception of the bathroom and kitchen, which are linoleum. So, the little spaceship stayed busy all afternoon cleaning the floors while we watch the cats’ reactions to it. They would stare at it, move close but not too close to inspect it, run after it, and then when it came toward them, they would jump and walked backwards as fast as they could to get away from it. When it went under the sofa and my chair, they would wait for it to come back out. It was so funny. We were entertained all afternoon.

It has two buttons — one for a short 30 minute run and a long one that lasts 120 minutes. It comes with a battery charger and three cleaning cloths. We cleaned the fur and dust off the same cloth several times. You can reuse them until they fall apart.

The floor cleaner has a low profile and compact design so that it can clean under sofas, beds, chairs and other furniture. The mesh is flexible — it curls up on the sides so that it can squeeze into small places, reach corners, and travel along the edges of walls. The mesh also retrieves toys, such as bouncy balls and small stuffed animals. I don’t have to get on all fours with a 3-foot yard stick to get them out from under the furniture.

The spaceship is ideal for all hard floors, such as wood, tile, laminate, marble, and linoleum.

The battery stays charged for eight hours and takes eight hours to recharge. The directions said to charge the battery for 12 hours before its first use, but we didn’t have to. It started cleaning from the start.

When I told my sister to buy the little spaceship, I was leery that it would be too noisy. Most animated pet toys tend to be that way. However, the spaceship hums while it works, just like a woman who enjoys cleaning would.

The little spaceship cleaned the living room, the kitchen, came back to the living room, went down the hall to the bathroom, and then further down to end of the hall to my bedroom where it cleaned the room, including under the bed, and back again into the living room where we mostly played with it.

All you have to do is put up the small objects on the floor, such as shoes, toys, boxes, and trash cans, so that it can clean better. The only thing it doesn’t pick up well is litter that has been scratched out of the box onto the floor. But it does, however, push the litter together so that it can be picked up with a broom and dust pan easier.

Now that I’ve got the floors clean of fur and dirt, I need to start dusting the furniture. I wonder when O cedar will make a mini-spaceship?


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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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