Home is where all the cats are
Feline fine: Vikki Skinner manages dozens of cats and that’s not even her full time job.
A love of the cats nobody wants prompted Vikki Skinner to open a sanctuary.
Skinner and her partner run Outpawed, refuge for wild and unwanted felines based in Whitby.
The pair have just embarked on a mission to trap and desex wild colonies in Horowhenua in an effort to stop the cats breeding.
Skinner chatted to Kapi-Mana News about her life, her love and what she’d likely take to onto desert island.
What do you do for a job?
I ama radiopharmaceutical chemist and work as the production team leader for a company in Wellington. My team produces radiotracers used in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.
What’s the best part of your job?
I really enjoy the early morning production shifts with my colleagues. Being up in the middle of the night, producing a drug that you hope will make a difference for someone. Not to mention the interesting stories and jokes that come out at 3am.
What’s the worst?
When something non-routine happens and we end up with a pile of paperwork to finish at 6am.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I ama black belt in Kyokushinkai karate. I have been training since I was 9.
How do you relax?
I read and play video games. There isn’t a lot of time for that at the moment.
Where can we find you in the weekends?
Either at home cleaning up after the cats or out trapping feral/stray cats. I really could be just about anywhere.
Do you have any special talents?
Not particularly. I used to be a pretty good clarinettist.
If you could invite three people to dinner - living or dead - who would they be and why?
I would invite Sir Patrick Stewart, because we have to have an actor and he has got to be my favourite. I would invite Marie Curie. I’d just love to talk to her about the progress that we have made in radiochemistry since her time.
Finally, I would invite cartoonist Stan Lee so we could talk about his work. Of course he would have to bring comics instead of wine.
Favourite place in Porirua?
Does home count? I love the atmosphere and peace in Whitby, and home is where the cats are.
If you could have one super power what would it be? Why?
I would have teleport - the wormhole kind, not the phase kind. I’d rather not accidentally kill myself by phasing into a solid object. It would really save me a lot of time travelling to work and transporting cats everywhere.
What scares you?
Losing my fur-babies. Just thinking about it terrifies me. I’m also afraid of heights and spiders.
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
What was your highlight of 2016?
I got married in November. Starting Outpawed was a close second.
What three things would you take if you were going to be stranded on a desert island?
I’d take a book, a knife and a roll of duct tape.
Vikki Skinner rescues unwanted cats in Porirua and Wellington.