The Cat Feeding Robot

Reads: 3846  | Likes: 20  | Shelves: 16  | Comments: 9

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


At least things didn’t turn out like they did in The Terminator.

Submitted: December 20, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 20, 2017

A A A

A A A


I hate being woke up by a hungry animal turned out to be a poor excuse, considering how much trouble I caused when I invented the cat feeding robot.

 

At first it wasn’t even a robot.  Just a machine I built and mounted on the wall.  Above the spot where I put the dishes of cat food.  Nothing but a few simple mechanisms.  An arm to hold a can of cat food, turn it, and move it around.  A lever to pull off the lid.  A popsicle stick rotated around inside the can and scooped the food into the dish.

 

A timer triggered the device at 3am.  No more early wake-ups by Turbo, the cat.  All I had to do was load it once a day.

 

But I’d forget and get woke up so I modified it to handle a week’s worth of early morning feedings.  Which made it even easier to forget.

 

I made a second version of the machine.  This one could handle an entire case of Fancy Feast, 72 cans in all.  It was freestanding, too big to attach to the wall.  To make it easier to move, I attached wheels.  That got me thinking.

 

Cat food gets delivered to my front door once a month.  The third version of the machine was motorized and controlled by the computer I scavenged from a Roomba, a self steering vacuum cleaner.  The new arm was capable of opening the front door.  Figuring out how to insert and turn the key was tricky.  

 

The treaded tracks that replaced the wheels allowed the machine to exit the door.  The arm had a telescoping clamp that was wide enough to grasp the box filled with cat food.

 

By now, it was officially a robot.  I named it Ernesto.

 

It was a matter of time before Ernesto was cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.  The voice activation module I installed made it easy to tell him what to do.  I gave him a wireless connection to the house surveillance system, so he could tell when the mail was delivered. 

 

That was when the neighbors started noticing him.  They asked a lot of questions at first. By the time they saw him riding the John Deere mower around the yard, they were used to Ernesto.  I turned down offers to hire him out for lawn work.

 

It was a natural progression to install a speech module.  On my drive home from work, I began to look forward to hearing “Hello Serge, how was your day?”

 

To make Ernesto more complex and more capable, I kept upgrading his hardware and software.  From single to dual to quad core, from 16 bit to 32 bit, from 64 bit to 128 bit.  From Windows to Linux to Solaris.  All sorts of custom stuff wired in between.  I’m not exactly sure which upgrade caused Ernesto to achieve sentience.  

 

All I know is, one day I came home from work and was greeted with, “Serge, am I a human being?”

 

I became engaged in a discussion of the meaning of life.  But it really got serious the day Ernesto said, “Serge, I’m lonely.”

 

That was when I built Ernestine.

 

I thought things would calm down when I hooked Ernesto up with a female robot.  That was true for a while.  To this day, I haven’t figured how how Ernestine got pregnant.  It wasn’t long before the house was swarming with tiny robots.  I couldn’t tell them apart, but the proud parents called each by name.

 

Who knew robots grow up so fast?  Soon, Ernesto and Ernestine were grandparents.  Then great-grandparents.  After a while, I lost track.  The house got full.  The kids started moving out.

 

Af first, everything was cool.  A robot would knock on someone’s door, move in, and take over the household chores.  Everywhere I went, I saw robots mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, and painting houses.  People loved them.  The problem is, robots reproduce like rabbits.

 

In a few years, America was covered with robots.  They started showing up in Canada and Mexico.  People began losing their jobs as the robots took over.  Unemployment spiked.  The stock market panicked and crashed.  The FBI showed up at my door.  

 

The agents sounded serious when they said things like “impairing the well-being of the nation can be considered treason” and “life in prison is a possible outcome.”  So, after they left, I googled “countries that don’t have extradition treaties with the US.”

 

That’s how Turbo and I ended up in Son Hai, a fishing village on the southern coast of Vietnam.  The weather is mild, the people are friendly, and the cost of living is low.  And not a robot in sight.  From now on, I’ll feed the cat myself.


© Copyright 2018 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply