Shit Robot

Do you remember when you realized that everyone’s house had its own smell, and that in addition to your family’s houses and your friends’ houses and the houses of people you didn’t really know, that must mean that your house had a smell, too? And do you remember freaking out over what that smell might be and if it was gross only you were too accustomed to it to know any better?

It’s a disturbing realization, especially if you make it around the time when everything you realize about yourself is disturbing because you’re pubescent and awful and don’t yet know that everyone else does the same thing.

If you don’t know what I mean by how everyone’s house has its own smell, then you are probably one of the following types of people:

1. Rich,
2. Not necessarily rich, but your mom definitely had a separate budget for room sprays and potpourri, or
3. Not a pet owner.

It’s the “not a pet owner” category that annoys me the most, not because they don’t own pets (someone annoying me for not having pets is as ridiculous as me annoying someone else because I don’t have kids), but because they tend to be the least tolerant of pets and the smells they produce. Which means that they don’t understand the distinction between something smelling like an animal and something smelling like something disgusting produced by an animal. Which means that when I walk into someone’s house and can smell a cat, a dog, a baby, or an elderly person, it’s not the same experience as a non-pet owner walking into a house and smelling something different that they automatically assume is waste material.

Because folks, there is a world of difference between the smell of cat pee and the smell of a cat’s clean fur. And in my experience, a lot of non-cat owners don’t know the difference.

But because I am understanding of the pets vs. kids vs. everyone else divide and also I am hospitable, I understand that there are steps I can take to lessen the obviousness of me having cats in my house. Among these steps are cleaning the litter box every day and after especially vicious revenge shits, vacuuming the house twice a week, and, recently, spending almost $200 on a self-cleaning litter box plus accessories.

I have Amazon Prime, so I purchased these items on Sunday and they were inside my house on Wednesday. Although Graham is not technically the owner of the cats in our house, he is on a friendly basis with them and likes putting things together. As he attached various parts of the litter box and activated the motorized rake, he looked at me and incredulously exclaimed “IT’S A SHIT ROBOT!”

That it is. Or was. I don’t know yet, because while the dumbest cat in the house loves the litter box and treats it like his own private robot butler, The Cat, the one I assumed would adapt very easily to the litter box, detests it. He is terrified of it. He treats it with even more animosity than he does the vacuum cleaner. He hates and fears it so much that he peed on the floor, and he has never peed on the floor. He would rather embarrass himself by peeing on the floor than risk getting into the litter box, which means that I may have spent almost $200 unnecessarily and I may have to deal with sending it back.


I am trying an experiment where it’s just in the room without being turned on, and so far, he has rubbed his face on it and, under duress, pooped in it. I’m hoping that he’ll just get used to its presence and I can eventually toss the old one away for good, and we can all live happily with our shit robot and nobody pees on anything they’re not supposed to.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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