The one where I develop a new and TOTALLY FOUNDED fear of being caged like an animal.

So this weekend I did my usual SPCA thing, and oh holy god things were busy. Lots of people surrendering animals to us, a couple of strays and a few emergencies ment that when my usual finishing time – 4pm came I was still forearms deep in cleaning out quarantine cages and desperately trying to find places for the towering cages of cats in the consult room!

I finally got to my last cat who needed to go into isolation for animals with potentially infectious diseases.  Isolation is a scary temporary container up a whole bunch of tiny slippery stairs right at the back of the property, surrounded by tall fences. Once I had her all settled I get up, lock the container… and find myself staring at a locked padlock on the back fence. Some douche had come along behind me and locked me in the isolation area.

(Please excuse me while I hyperventalate a little.)

(If I seem unusually jumpy, it’s because I was. I’d had an unfortunate encounter with the freezer earlier in the day, and the freezer is where nightmares go to die.)

So I tamped down on the panic and called out for help. I was going for a tone that sounded annoyed with a hint of impatient, but I think what came out was worried with a hint of panic. It turns out that I don’t much like the back section of the shelter. And I especially don’t like being trapped out there behind a locked fence.

I considered climbing the fence, and then decided to save that as a last option because it was rickety, and I didn’t really want to break it and impale myself on a metal pipe.

Then I considered climbing down the hill, and seeing if I could find a less rickety area to climb, but closer inspection reveled the hill to be a cliff, and covered in thorny things. And I was wearing flipflops, and I hate blood. So. Then I stood and stared at the padlock some more.

At some point I realise that the ultimate irony in the situation, was directly down those stupid rickety stairs? That was where my backpack and mobile phone was. Along with my work blackberry, because usually I carry both of those everywhere, but I didn’t want to have to juggle a cat in a cage, a bowl of water, a can of food AND my phones all at one time.

(I now have an entire list of stuff I’m never doing at the SPCA again, and top of this list is ‘wearing flipflops, because my health and safety rep at work would shoot me with a flaregun for being stupid’ and the bottom of the list is ‘going anywhere without my phone. Even if it’s a pain, because I stupidly wore pants without pockets.’)


Just as I had resigned myself to a sad attempt at breaking into the container to find a phone or a radio or something to call for help I had a brainwave. I’m standing there staring at this stupid container thinking that it must have taken a truck or something to get it here. It’s not like they lifted it over the building or something, right? So there has to be road access somewhere…. And yeah there was.

(Way to make me feel stupid for panicking, logic.)

 So I  power-walked around the back of Newtown to the front of the building, and (thank you) the main reception area was still unlocked and unarmed. The whole time I was up there I was thinking ‘CRAP’ because I knew there were only two others in the building, and when they left… Well that would have been it.

(Because you haven’t found fear like the fear I found when I realised I might be trapped in Newtown without money, a phone, my car keys, or my panic alarm.)

(It’s not that Newtown isn’t a nice place – during the day – but I happened to be in the bit of Newtown that has state housing, a halfway house, and it’s very own gang.)

Anyway I got back in and found the staff member who’d locked me in and given her my very best ‘angry Taekwon Do blue belt’ stare while I informed her that she had locked me in a Very Scary Area. Only I didn’t stare too hard, because she has a lot of tattoos and facial piercings and generally I have a policy of being nice to anyone who impales their own face on purpose.

So yeah. That was pretty much my Saturday! EXCEPT after that I went and met up with the one and only Geek Hiker, who’s traveling the world (pretty much) in search of Lord of the Rings Filming locations. Oh. Ok, so he’s also looking to find his place in the world, and all that jazz too. Pft. Whatever. Anyway grand tours and pilgrimages to see the world aside, he’s a nice guy, and we had loads of fun playing tourist in the city over the weekend.

Like, on Sunday I took him to some of my favorite places, and the Weta Workshop – of course (because he’s a geek hiker, and this is New Zealand!) and he took me on a tour of places where famous hotties might have run, crawled or hidden – and I’m pretty sure that my City kind of blew his mind in the process – because it’s stunning when it puts on a good day!

So yeah, I had a ball, and learned all about Corn Dogs, and Disney Land, and the Girl (with a capital G!!) in Australia that our friend may be heading back to visit because: Squee!!! He’s a total single geek hiker Romantic at heart!!  And speaking of romance? In the process of showing Geek Hiker around, and telling him about Wellington, I fell in love all over again with this place. I mean, I’ve always totally been head over heels for Wellington, but sometimes having a chance to see it through a strangers eyes can make everything seem new again!!

Lesigh. I love this city.


5 thoughts on “The one where I develop a new and TOTALLY FOUNDED fear of being caged like an animal.

  1. I thought the ‘MacGyver gene’ that’s been passed down through generations of boy scout meetings would have kicked in first!
    A metal cage, a live cat and some string will make you a pretty convincing kite to sail over walls with!
    Happy that you’re happy.

  2. Holy scary, batman! So glad that worked out in the end. Being locked in there over the weekend sounds like it would have been really terrible!

    I live in a super-touristy place myself and I totally get how it’s be easy to forget how great your town is until someone gives you a chance to see it’s wonder through fresh eyes. Fun!

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