cat on a dietOne of the articles I read about cat diets talked about how pet dieting was easier than human dieting because cats can’t cheat. You won’t find your cat, the article said, breaking down and jolting a burrito or digging around in the refrigerator late at night (as adorable as those two images are). Your cat only eats what you put in your bowl. End of story.But it’s not that easy, I say to the writer of this article, who obviously doesn’t live in New York, a city where you don’t ask if  you have a cockroach problem, you ask what kind of cockroach problem you have.

American CockroachWhat kind of cockroach problem do we have? We don’t have that many, but the ones that are around are big. Like, Gary Larsen cockroaches-playing-cards-and-carrying-briefcases big. After doing some research following the latest sighting a few weeks ago, we figured out that they are waterbugs, something that sounds about the opposite of you’re picturing in your head right now. They are not cute. In fact, “Waterbugs” is just a friendly way of saying “the largest species of American cockroach, the kind often used in pranks and horror films.”

The good news is (if there can be good news associated with the largest species of cockroach) that waterbugs need very warm, damp environments. Usually, they live in basements around hot water pipes and hot water heaters. Although they don’t actually live in our apartment, every once and a while they’ll get lost or go forging and come up to first floor apartments through drains and things.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. Sure, it feels like getting punched in the stomach each time I happen upon one, but they’re just bugs. And they’re visitors, not tenets. But – they are bad in a different, more important way. They might be screwing up Ripley’s diet.

She had her first encounter this week. And as terrifying as these bugs are to me, they are like Six Flags for Rips. Even after the roach was long gone, Ripley began a vigil near the washer and dryer where it was spotted and now spends the majority of her time there, like it’s her own personal critter vending machine.

I’m torn over this. Sure, she’s controlling our pest problem and getting some exercise during the chase, but how many calories are in those guys? I mean, they’re huge. A quick Google search of “Calories in a cockroach” only led to me now knowing more about the cockroach metabolism than is necessary to live a full life. I did learn, however, that roaches are pretty much 100% protein. Maybe Ripley needs her power breakfast, just like me.

Ripley: Cat on a Diet (Week 3)

Ripley: Cat on a Diet (Week 2)

Ripley: Cat on a Diet (Week 1)