Hello Friends and Family,

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New Member of the Household

We have a new addition to our household — a cute little bundle of joy weighing 6 pounds and 6 ounces — and as such has received a lot of attention. She sleeps a lot but is full of energy when awake, wondering hither and yon in a seeming random pattern that must make sense to her — but I’m sure she will eventually visit every square inch of our house.

She has a favorite spot to sleep and returns there when she is tired. She sometimes seems a bit clumsy — running into furniture, turning around in circles when she finds herself in a corner and scooting under the bed rather than going around it. She will not climb stairs but is careful to not fall down them either.

She is generally well-behaved although she does have a mischievous side — the other night she got into the newspapers that I absentmindedly left on the floor next to the garage door prior to putting them in the recycle pile. The next morning, newspapers were strewn all over the kitchen.

And Mizuki loves her. It’s hard to believe that one could become attached so quickly but she has won our hearts. It’s especially hard to believe because she is a robot — specifically, a Roomba from iRobots. However, you must understand the importance of a clean home, especially in the Japanese culture. Most of you probably know that it is the Japan custom to not wear outdoor shoes inside your home. I adopted this practice when I lived on Maui in the mid-1980s — where I’m sure the custom was the result of the influence of the large population with Japanese ancestry. As a result, Mizuki did not have to train this old dog when we got married.

Now we don’t expect that Roomba will do the heavy-duty cleaning of a regular vacuum cleaner but it can handle a daily pass of the floor (both carpet and tile) in one level of our two-story townhouse. Conveniently, we can even program her to activate at a particular time of day — we chose 2:00 AM daily — and she is sufficiently quiet that we don’t hear her in the bedroom. We just have to remember to not leave newspapers on the floor.

Here is our new "baby".

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com