Still just as cute

It’s been two weeks since I got neutered and I have to say that it looks like I survived. As you can tell from the above photo, I did not lose any points on the cuteness scale. Continue reading “Neutering” »

Gregarious Gari


Me and the vets

If you have been following my exploits (and I think you’d better have a darned good excuse if you haven’t been), then you know that I recently went to the small animal clinic at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station, Texas to have some abscesses removed. Just to refresh your memory, Melly blogged about it here. After ten days, I was supposed to have my stitches taken out. Considering how stressful the drive was for me and the fact that Dr. Hoppes and her team had to come to Austin to take care of a zoo lion anyway, we all decided a house call was in order.

Continue reading “Gregarious Gari” »

Punch Line Contest



Our new teeshirt design

There’s no better way to celebrate Caplin Rous’ 4th birthday than to start a new contest. Caplin loved contests, after all, he is the one who invented Rodent Jeopardy. This contest is even better because first prize is a teeshirt with our brand new capybara design on it.

Continue reading “Punch Line Contest” »

My Week in Pictures

#1: Me and my pool toy

Today’s blog post doesn’t really have a topic other than me. I guess I didn’t really learn anything new or do anything exciting. But that didn’t keep Melly from following me around with her camera. So we’re just going to run with that.

Continue reading “My Week in Pictures” »

Hero RATS are My Heroes

My Certificate from Hero Rats

My Certificate from Hero Rats

Those of you who played #RodentJeopardy with me on twitter probably remember that while the main purpose of the game was to have fun, it was also to benifit my new favorite charity, HeroRATS. HeroRATS is an amazing organization. They train rats to find landmines in Africa and to search through samples faster than a human can blink an eye in order to detect tuberculosis. I’ll be honest with you, they make me proud to be a rodent.


Here’s a copy of the email they sent to my owner when she made the donation:

Dear Melanie,

I was so suprised to see your creative idea – Rodent Jeopardy – and your wonderful contribution to our team!  I’m writing to thank you for your donation and dedication to our HeroRAT’s work.  Please see the attached certificate we completed in Caplin’s name! We are deeply honored by your interest and support and want to ensure you it will go to good use.

Currently in Mozambique we are one year ahead of schedule on our task to clear the entire Gaza province by 2014.  We have already made major impacts on neighboring villages by opening up farmland, roads, and the land needed for electricity to reach a village of 10,000 Mozambicans.

Here in Tanzania we are working to address the deadliest of diseases. Tuberculosis takes more lives than any other and particularly those of women and people living with HIV.  What’s worse, it kills at a young age, at the height of people’s productivity and family responsibilities.  The work of our HeroRATs has increased detection rates at four hospitals in Tanzania by 31% and our rats can process 40 samples in four minutes – the same number a technician can do in an entire day!

We do hope you will stay in touch!  We always want to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions you might have.  If you’d like monthly updates on our progress and all the exciting advances happening at APOPO, please feel free to sign up for our e-newsletter at  If you have any questions, you can always reach me at

When we first began this project, people laughed at our ‘unique technology’.  Now that we have proven our HeroRATS’ incredible abilities and shown the world what they can do, we enjoy that people laugh along with us!

Thanks again for your support and please say hi to Caplin for us!

Best wishes,

Kara Schnoes on behalf of the HeroRATS team

A Hero Rat at work

A Hero Rat at work

They really sound like nice people and they do such great work. And not just for humans! They are also helping to give rats and rodents in general a better public image. So if you have any spare change this holiday season and you’re looking for a good cause, look no further! Be a hero and donate to HeroRATS!