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




30 April


I started to build Kali's holiday house over the weekend but I need a lot more nuts and bolts than I thought and I had to stop. I'll carry on this weekend after I've been to the DIY shops again and I'll take a few pictures of how it goes.

I've had lots of emails about this site now that its finally up. People seem to like it and find it useful. I've also had some helpful comments about how to improve it and lots of requests for more information. Kali, of course, is thrilled to be so famous and she's now looking for an agent!

Kali continues to get more relaxed when she's out playing and she's started to exhibit some new behaviours. She was playing with the furry fringe of the one of the mats I put down for her, jumping on it and trying to bite it as usual, then she rolled over and wriggled her back into the mat. She only rolled over for a few seconds but she's never done this before. She's also taken to rubbing her chin and cheeks on things as she goes past them. It looks like she's scent marking but I don't know Pouched Rats had scent glands in their faces. Some times she'll run along the length of a room rubbing her chin on the ground as she goes.

She 'asked' to play with her bell on a rope last night. I leave it hanging from a door handle and she went up to it and started to pull it around. As soon as I began to jiggle it around she was tugging on the other end, biting it and running away then pouncing on it.

I hope this new found playfulness survives the holiday! Kali's not very good with change but other owners on the Pouched Rat list say they travel quite well.

Kali's won second prize in a photo competition run by the Midlands Rat Club, which I joined earlier this year. The photo will be printed in the next club magazine.


18 April


Kali's sleeping arrangements are back to normal now. During the week, Wednesday night I think, she moved the nest back down to the ground floor and that seemed to generally settle her down again. She's been getting up for breakfast again and has been very active and playful during her playtimes. She even managed to sneak into the bathroom for a few minutes one night. She's always interested in new places to explore.

I've designed Kali's holiday house so that it will pack flat so as not to take up too much room in the car. I want to get it built quite soon so she can get used to it before we go away.

10 April

Kali is determined to continue sleeping on her shelf. When she was out playing yesterday evening I moved her nest down to its more normal place on the ground floor of her house. I also moved her food stash, which she'd been sleeping on. When I put her home again she moved her bed back up to the top shelf and she was still there in the morning. Its obviously what she wants to do so I won't try and move her nest again.

Kali's off on holiday soon. We've booked a cottage in Scotland for a week. We had to say what pets we were bringing and I was worried that the owners would object to a rat but they were absolutely fine about Kali. I'm also worried about how Kali will take to the travelling and to the new surroundings. I'm going to need to get a travelling box and temporary cage for her but I don't expect I'll be able to buy anything suitable and I'll end up making them.

8 April

Kali's sulking today after her playtime last night. Her house was due to be cleaned out and I let her run in the lounge while I changed all her bedding and cleaned her house. I think she must have got very agitated by finding her house in pieces although, at the time, she seemed to be having a good time jumping in and out of the dismantled parts of her house. She was also whizzing around the rest of the room, exploring all the corners and jumping onto the sofa. When her house was ready, which took twice as long as usual because she kept 'helping', I picked her up and put her back into the house. She was glad to be back and started to find the food I'd put around the place. She then picked up her bedding, carried it to the top level of her house and made her nest on the top shelf next to her food and water dishes.

She has done this before, after being cleaned out, but she usually remakes her nest in a dark corner of the ground floor a little while later. However she spent the night on the shelf and wouldn't come to the door for her breakfast monkey nuts, although she did eat her breakfast from her bowl. Tonight I got home from work to find she still hasn't moved. I hope she sees sense tonight because it must be quite uncomfortable up on the self.

7 April

Kali's taken a few days to adjust to British Summer Time. At first she was surprised that breakfast turned up an hour early and she was so sleepy when I got her out for evening playtime that all she wanted to do was sit in the corner and go back to sleep. After a couple of days she'd got used to the new routine.

She's been out in the newly carpeted lounge again and she has worked out that she can climb in and out of her house by herself. I wondered if she'd try to get out of her house at breakfast time but she seems quite happy to jump up into her doorway, take her monkey nuts, them jump back down into her house.

I've been able to pick her up again without the glove but I still use it when I first get her out of her house.

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