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, or bred literally hundreds of individually glorious rats, many of whom shared their lives with me and taught me so much.

I was a founder member of the North of England Rat Society and was for many years their chairperson and newsletter editor, as well as spending a couple of years as secretary for 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 – a couple of months away from the 5th edition being published. Over the past 10 years, I have developed a keen interest in the emotional experience and behaviour of rats, and what they are capable of, and began to research and learn in these areas.

As I update this bio it’s almost May of 2023 – Ratwise is 5 years and 4 months old and I have recently passed on my dog care business to younger, capable hands. I am living a calmer life with research and writing as my main focus.

When not engaged rat-i-ly I spend time with my two dogs (Raffi and Barney), friends, and my three human offspring. I also enjoy house sitting, cooking, content creation, the weather, foraging, journeying (physically and developmentally), Doc Martins, craft beer, poetry, and audiobooks.

I’d love to share the journey with you… so join up, and come on in.

Ali x

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