Yesterday was a day of errands. Kindergarten in the morning. I took Lemi to the vet just to find out if her bathroom problem is medically related. It is not. She is in great health. Good news. I'll just have to figure out some way to discourage her from using the new carpet as a toilet! (Bought another cat box!)
No. These are not cockroaches! I don't want to freak any of you out, but did you know that in Japan some kids keep bugs for pets! I suppose if the house is too small for a cat and there's no yard for a dog, then there is not much smaller you can get than a bug! I know traditionally crickets were kept (and are still sold in pet stores these days) because they make a ringing sound in the summer that is "cooling" to the ear. They are not set free in the house of course, instead kept in small plastic bug boxes (used to be small bamboo cages).
The most popular bugs for kids are two different types of beetles, a Kabuto mushi and a Kuwagata mushi. Do not ask me what they are called in English. I've even seen kids put little leashes on them and pin them to the shirt so that they can't fly away! The pet stores sell special beetle soil and beetle houses and beetle food. Anyway, they are very popular with young Japanese boys and the really industrious boys in our neighborhood will go into the forest with nets and try to find their own beetles. (Most parents buy them at the pet store for their kids though.) I think the pet stores in the big cities can sell them at quite exorbitant prices though around here they sell for a few dollars apiece. Kids who really get into it will keep beetles year round and watch the whole hibernation and hatching process. Hmm. Grubs in a box. No thank you.
Even though I say that, before Takumi entered kindergarten and we still lived in an apartment we did try our hand at keeping a pet beetle. As I recall, I got grossed out and we let it go in a nearby park after a few weeks.
These are pictures taken at the kindergarten and the kids were proudly showing off their beetles to the camera. Can you hear me pleading "Do not get any closer to me! For heaven's sake! Don't step on them!"
Uh oh. I hope I haven't lost any blog readers because of this post.