A Stray Monarch Caterpillar

I hope you’re not squeamish looking at this photo. Yesterday during dinner, we discovered this little caterpillar hanging onto our wilting bouquet of flowers. It’s about 1.5″ long and very active! With a little help from Google search, we verified that it’s a monarch. Thanks to the PBS show Wild Kratts, Sophia has a good working knowledge of monarch butterflies. Specifically she was concerned we didn’t have enough milkweed for Caterpi to eat. (Yes, she named it.)

Who knew we had a stowaway on our bouquet we bought from our trip to the farmers market last weekend? It’s pretty exciting actually! Hubby drilled some holes in a lid and we carefully inserted the milkweed into a large jar. Both kids passed the jar back and forth to watch Caterpi (pronounced cat-er-pee) munch away on its dinner. Then we had to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle at bedtime. Too bad I didn’t have a copy of the bilingual Vietnamese/English language version.

I think today’s adventure will be searching for milkweed behind our apartment building. We’re supposed to feed it fresh leaves everyday and clean its poop. Yes, you read that right. I’m supposed to clean out the dang caterpillar’s poop.

I’m just as excited about our new pet as the kids are. Though I’m a little creeped out by little squirmy insects, I’m keeping it in check for Jaxson and Sophia. We’re get a first hand look at nature. I just hope Caterpi survives long enough to turn into a beautiful butterly. Or else I will be flushing a dead caterpillar. Eeek!

Have you ever kept a caterpillar as a pet?