Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts tagged ‘Mulberry’

“Can cats smell stress?”

One afternoon after a rough day at school, The Ten-Year-Old tried to calm herself down by picking Canelo up for a hug. He was having none of it. The Ten-Year-Old was disappointed when Canelo ran off instead of giving her the reassuring head-bonk she was looking for, but as always, her curiosity won out. “Mommyo, can cats smell stress?”

What’s on The Seven-Year-Old’s mind this week?

Our semi-regular round-up of the tidbits that cross The Seven-Year-Old’s desk. This week, my daughter’s reading about monarch butterflies, plastic polluting our oceans, and the effects of fast food on our bodies. She’s also reading the Warriors books by Erin Hunter, The Loathsome Dragon by Kim Kahng and David Wiesner, and Scientific Progress Goes Boink! by Bill Watterson.

Classic Caterpickles: “Why can’t cats drink milk?”

When she saw the Aristocats slurping happily at a bowl of cream, she naturally wanted to pour a bowl for our own cats. I had to shoot this down. Although Cozy, our normally timid grey tabby, would body slam Mulberry out of the way for a taste of the creamy stuff, the sad fact is our tabby’s tummy can’t take it. Why can’t cats drink milk?

How The Five-Year-Old helped me understand the Victorian practice of posing with their dead

Exposure times for photography in those days were extremely long, which had the perverse effect of making the dead daughter in this example the only reliably in-focus part of the image, while her (then) living parents appear blurred and more ghost-like. (Image via

Earlier this week while doing some of the never-ending research for my novel-in-progress, Asylum, I came across memento mori, the Victorian practice of posing their dead for photographs. At first, I labeled this as just one more in a long line of somewhat creepy things Victorians did. But then The Five-Year-Old did something that completely changed my perspective on it.