Not many people keep insects as pets nowadays, although the ancient Chinese kept crickets in little cages, to hear them sing.
Over the years, I've kept about 20 different species as pets, but George the monarch caterpillar was my first insect.
When I was a college student, I had a pet tarantula. (Spiders are much different from insects.) While I was driving on a back road at Stanford, I saw him crossing the pavement and took him home to my dorm.
Having no other handy cage, I put him in my empty waste basket. There he sat for several months. When I entered the room, he'd feel my vibrations and scuttle around the bottom of the basket. I imagined it was a dance of joy at my homecoming, like Fido's greeting. Perhaps not.
I'd toss in a few flies or a big bug every day or so, which he happily ate. But after several months, he died--probably from starvation or dehydration. His communication skills were poor, so he couldn't communicate what he needed (as if I was listening).
Pros and cons of insect pets
Caterpillars are very different from kitties and doggies.
- No neurotic behaviors or misbehavior. Never chew on your shoes.
- Don't run off (at least not fast)
- Food is inexpensive.
- No need for vaccinations or license.
- Expands your mind. Teaches about metamorphosis.
- Insect metamorphosis puts human puberty in perspective.
- You get three pets for the price of one. Caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly.