My wife and I like our new home a lot, but after 25 years of living together in a condo, a ranch house takes some getting used to. It’s big. Not that anyone would mistake it for a mansion, but compared to how we’ve been living, it’s really big.
The cats are loving all the space. When we first brought them home, they were nervous but curious. They’d go exploring all these places they had never seen before, but every few minutes they’d come back to visit us to make sure we were still there, and then they’d go exploring again. Now they’ve settled into routines. Ivy the Norwegian Forest Cat likes to spend the day in my wife’s craft room, sitting on the chair by the window, soaking up the morning sun and watching the neighborhood. At night, she settles onto a cat condo in the middle of the living room. Beezle the Ragdoll is a little less predictable, although if he’s not sleeping on the bed it’s usually because he’s following us around to see what we’re up to.
The WiFi isn’t working well in the new space. It’s great here in my office, right next to the router, but it gets a little spotty in the living room, and is very difficult to get in the family room or the garage. It’s also surprisingly weak when I’m sitting in my car in the driveway, which is weird considering that’s in direct line of sight of my office window. I’m going to try mounting the Wi-Fi router high up on the wall to get better coverage, but I don’t expect much of an improvement. I think I’ll either have to move it to a more central location or find the old router from the condo and install it as a second access point on the other side of the house.
Our old kitchen had a lot of space, but it was mostly dining room. The working kitchen area was small and efficient. This one has about twice the cabinet room and three times the counter space. I’m still not sure how to organize it. It’s also a lot farther to carry stuff between the refrigerator, stove, and sink.
Because the floors are mostly hardwood or laminate, we decided to get a Roomba vacuum robot to clean the place. I was skeptical, because I’d always heard that Roombas weren’t very smart and didn’t work well cleaning more than a few hundred square feet, but my wife had done her research: This is one of the new ones that does mapping, so it can find its way around, and when its battery gets low it can return to its base to recharge and then pick up where it left off, because it can remember which parts of the house it’s already cleaned.
That’s not to say it’s problem-free: With two big fluffy cats, its bin is filled with cat hair every day. It also has a few problems getting around. Sometimes it flips up a throw rug and then gets stuck on top, and three times now it’s managed to bump one of the doors closed and get itself trapped in a room. One time it somehow found a gap between a piece of furniture and a wall that was just large enough for it to get into, but it couldn’t figure out how to get back out.
And then there was the time the charging cable to my phone disappeared. It had been pulled out of the charger, and we eventually found it under the bed. We think probably the Roomba snagged it during a cleaning pass, but we can’t rule out the possibility that one of the cats got tangled in it. It wasn’t us, so it has to be either the cats or the robot.
I think it probably says something about our lifestyle that “Cats or robot?” is a thing that comes up.