So… who am I?
I’m synonymously known as Alison Campbell, tabirat, Shunamite Stud and the author of The Scuttling Gourmet, but I am Pickle, Ali or tabi to my friends. Rats first found me through my daughter, Imogen, in 1997, and since then I have bought, rehomed, rescued and bred literally hundreds of individually glorious rats, many of whom shared their lives with me and taught me so much.
I was also a founder member of the North of England Rat Society and was for many years their chair and newsletter editor, as well as spending a couple of years as secretary at the Midlands Rat Club.
In 2002 I became interested in rat nutrition and began the journey of research and discovery that led to The Scuttling Gourmet as it is today. Over the years I have also developed a keen interest in the capabilities and experiences of rats, and since the 3rd (more lasting) edition was published in 2010, I began to primarily research and learn in these areas.
We are all about to tumble into 2018, and I find myself almost ready to publish the first in a new series of books that discuss topics such as the rat’s senses, behaviour, emotional life, cognitive abilities and habitat/enrichment needs. It was, as a place to showcase these ideas, that the Ratwise membership was conceived, alongside (of course) the nutritional side of caring for our rattie friends.
When not engaged rat-i-ly, I run a dog care/walking company and enjoy my motorhome, the weather, journeying (physically and developmentally), Doc Martins, craft beer and Netflix series of the Scorpion/Lie to me and Hannibal ilk. I spend about 80% of my time in other people’s houses (often house-sitting and caring for pets while folks are on holiday) and 20 % in my van at the moment. Summer 2018 I get to have my own house again after a two-and-a-half-year sabbatical.
I’d love to share the journey with you… so join up, and come on in.