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African Pouched RatKali aged 6 weeks
Kali's vital statistics
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Species: African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus)




31 March


Kali's house is no back in the lounge in its usual place. Kali didn't notice the move this time because I moved her house when she was out playing.

I let her explore the newly carpeted room for a few minutes while I was cleaning her house out. While she was exploring she tried to get up the chimeny and I had to pick her up to stop her. I didn't have the glove to hand but I was able to pick her up without it. I was really pleased about that and I hope I can dispense with the glove completely soon.


27 March


Kali seems to have gone off the idea of climbing out of her house by herself for playtime. I have to entice her out by rustling her bedding. She pounces out of her bed and chases my hand up onto the top level of her cage where I can pick her up. I don't really want to encourage her hunter instinct but its the only way to get her to come out. She's being so silly because she has such a good time when she is out.

Her house had to be moved to a different room on Wednesday so a new carpet could be laid and that upset her a bit. She was a lot more edgy that night and spent a lot of time grooming when she should have been running about. I probably won't move her back until the weekend because the new carpet is rather smelly. Now that the decoration is all finished I want to let Kali out in that room so she can freely go in and out of her house at playtime and I wont have to seal off the hall and landing all the time.

I'm relieved to report that her limp has now completely gone and her tail is fully healed.

11 March

What a difference a few days makes. Kali's tail is on the mend now and her limp has all but vanished.

She has really got the hang of climbing out of her house herself for her playtimes. This is much less stressful for both of us and she is then much more relaxed when she's out playing. As soon as I put her down on the stairs she is off exploring. Last night she was particularly active and was running and jumping from the moment I put her down. She even explored me a few times and climbed onto my shoulders. I was half expecting to feel her teeth in the back of her neck but she was very well behaved. She did have a trial ėtaste' of my knee through my jeans but she was only testing me to see if I was edible.

6 March

Kali's tail hasn't got any better, but it doesn't seem to have got any worse either. She's still having fish in her diet and I also picked up a tip from the Pouched Rat List. Apparently adding vitamin E to the diet help the rat take up the oils better. We've also been moisturising Kali's tail. The dry weather has broken now so I'm hoping the problem will begin to clear up.

The tail problem hasn't slowed Kali down at all. She's been very active when she's been out and we had a particularly eventful playtime on Monday night. I finally managed to coax her to come out of her house by herself, without me having to swoop down on her and pick her up. I left the roof off her house and got her to follow my hand, up her ladder, along the first shelf, up onto the second and finally out though the roof. It took a couple of goes but she got the idea and climbed up out of her house. I was then able to gather her into my arms without the usual fuss and fighting. Once out and playing she was very bold and confident. I was playing with her with her cloth, which is one of her favourite games, and she became very manic. She was pouncing on the cloth, rolling over and under it and really biting it for all she was worth. I was having to be very careful, and very quick, not to get my fingers in the way. Suddenly she lunged at the cloth but made contact with my leg and bit me through my Jeans. She only just broke the skin but the pinch she gave me was far more painful that the proper bites she gave me when I first had her.

Mysteriously Kali started limping again last week. This is a recurring problem which she's had since we got her. The limp has been hardly noticeable for weeks and then suddenly it got a lot worse. After two or three days it improved again and, as with her tail, it didn't slow her down at all.

Kali isn't waking us up during the night at the moment but its because we're no longer sleeping directly above her. We're decorating that room so we have moved to the back of the house. I fear she's just as noisy as ever during the night - we just can't hear her at the moment.

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