I have recently brought home my first pet in a decade. Meet Humbert Humbird, a lovable scamp who — at a mere three months old — has not quite grown into the majesty and amorous prowess of his name. Training comes along nicely: one week in, as I write this, he happily perches atop my keyboard, occasionally entranced by the horizontal march of tasty looking cryptographical insects across the screen. He will step up on my finger on command, enjoys having his head scratched, and will let me kiss him. Humbert Humbird is a GOOD bird.
Still, other elements of being a pet owner are trying. For example, Humbert enjoys flying around the room, excitedly dropping turds everywhere. Due to the particular chemical make-up of the budgerigar faece, these solidify within seconds and are relatively easy to sweep up, but there is still something gauche about inhabiting an apartment covered in parakeet turds.
Another game Humbert likes to play is going to the bottom of his cage and flapping his wings for several minutes straight, sending a Hiroshima-like cloud of bird seed and gravel spraying around the room. He particularly likes to do this mere seconds after the cleaning girl has left for the week. On such occasions, he deftly dodges all karate kicks aimed in his direction.
Just in time, then! iRobot has just announced their latest Roomba: the Pets series, which includes a larger sweeping bin (perfect for voluminously ballooning up with seed chaff, gravel and fossilized parakeet crap) and a series of pet-oriented brushes. In truth, it’s aimed more for dog and cat owners, but I imagine not only buying one, but installing a tiny little perch on top of it for Humbert to ride around like a robotic steed. It is perhaps the only way I’ll ever train him to clean up after himself.
iRobot Introduces Roomba Pet [Business Wire]