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



24 June

I think we passed another milestone with Kali last night. When I took the top off her house to let her out for her playtime she came out of her nest and stood still waiting for me to pick her up without any fuss.

Playtime was a bit earlier than usual and in the past Kali's been slow to get going and start exploring when I let her out early. She wasn't slow last night she was off and running as soon as I put her down.

She continues to be full of energy and she was running everywhere last night. We had a very energetic game playing with her cloth, she was pouncing on it, rolling around in it, chasing the end of it and, of course, biting it for all she's worth. I let her in to the porch again and this time she didn't try to chew the boots. She left them alone so perhaps she remembers being told off about chewing them. Alternatively it could be because she was busy gnawing the bricks! She was biting off and eating small pieces of the exposed bricks. I'll get her a different mineral lick in case she's short of salts.

22 June

Kali was really asking to be let into the porch again last night. She paced up and down in front of the door and was scrabbling at the gap round the door. She seemed very pleased when I let her in and explored all the corners and tried to pull up the carpet. She took rather too much interest in our walking boots. She started to chew the leather and she wouldn't leave them alone. She'd stop when I gave her a firm 'no' but only for a second then she starting chewing them again. Eventually I had to chase her off them and shut her out of the porch. She was a bit sulky after that and sat upstairs for a few minutes until it was time for her to go back into her house.


18 June


Kali continues to be very interactive when she's out playing. The trip to Scotland and her birthday party seem to have really excited her.

When she was out playing last night she seemed to delight in just running up and down the stairs. She rushed to the top of stairs then spun round, rushed down again, ran round in a circle in the hall then rushed back up the stairs. She did this a few times and she was just bursting with energy.

I let her run into the porch, which I usual keep shut off, and she had a great time exploring this new area. The porch has exposed brick work and Kali soon discovered that she could literally climb up the walls. I hope this had helped to ware her nails down because they were getting a bit too long. She had more trouble climbing down than climbing up and eventually she got stuck on the coat hooks and I had to give her a lift down.

It is so good to see her enjoying herself so much. She really has responded well to being introduced to new environments.

I've had to find a new supplier for the chopped cardboard bedding I've been using. The supplier I was using suddenly changed phone numbers and didn't reply to any of the messages I left. I found a new supplier on the internet and I've given their details to this site. I should get delivery from the new supplier this week.

16 June

Happy birthday to Kali - one year old today. We had a party for Kali this evening and let her out to play, even though it wasn't a playtime evening. We made her a fruit jelly and balanced a blackberry on top. She didn't quite know what to make of it but was polite enough to have a few mouthfuls before running off to play in the room and climb into the fireplace.

She did come back and have a bit more jelly a bit later but I don't think it is one of her favourite foods. I took some pictures of her at her party which I'll put up in the album soon.

Its interesting to think back to how Kali was when we first got her and how much she's adapted to living with us.

12 June
  I heard some worrying news from the Pouched Rat list about Pouched Rats carrying the monkeypox virus. The story was also on the BBC website but the problem seems to be confined to the US.
11 June

We've been back from our Scottish holiday for a few days now and I'm pleased and relieved to report that Kali took it all in her stride. The holiday house I built for her worked very well and she didn't seem to mind the very long journey. It took us about nine hours to get there and ten hours to get back. The trip included a ferry crossing. I don't think Kali enjoyed the trip but she put up with it and waited until it was over and she even had a few things to eat on the way. I've put some pictures of Kali on holiday in the album.

When I first put her in her travel tank for the journey up to Scotland she really fought the bars trying to get out. It took her about 15 minutes to calm down but after that she was very good. She was the same at the start of the journey home but again she calmed down once we were underway. Other than that the travelling was uneventful.

I let her out for her usual playtimes while we were up there and she explored and learnt about her new environment. Strangely there was one evening, towards the end of the week, when she spent half and hour hiding under a sofa before coming out to explore. I never did understand why. I had a bit of a scare one evening when she discovered a large ventilation hole in the wall behind the fireplace. I watched her disappear and I had visions of her getting into the wall cavities and not coming out again. Luckily the hole only went through to the next room and was sealed with a grate so she couldn't get out anywhere. I temporarily blocked the hole the other times she was out.

Since we've been back she’s been very lively and entertaining. I was really happy that she made her nest downstairs in her house and started to get up for breakfast again. She no longer waits for me to replace her food and water bowls before jumping up into her doorway and snatching the monkey nuts from me. She’s been very active at playtime too and has started to climb on me for the first time in months. She plays for about 45 minutes before she slows down and 'asks' for the door between the hall and her room to be opened so she can go back to her house. She's also been more vocal since we got back, especially at meal times.

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