A small blessing
Not too long after we adopted our cat about three years ago, our neighbor came by. She informed us that she had chickens running free in her backyard, and our cat was starting to show interest in them. We worked out a plan in which we kept the cat in most of the day, and she shut away her chickens at night. It worked well, and on the few occasions our cat got out, we just called the neighbor to let her know.
As the kids have gotten a little more independent, it has gotten harder. They wanted to be in and out of the back door all summer, and the cat unsurprisingly wanted to go in and out too. I had to shut her away in the guest room whenever the kids wanted to go out (and she scratched up the carpet by the door, ugh!).
It was getting really frustrating for me.
But! A few weeks ago, our neighbor let me know that they got rid of their chickens. I am sad for her, because I know that she really loved them, but I am so glad that we can let the cat out any time now. It's nice now that the weather is turning colder that she doesn't have to be out during the freezing night. And it will be wonderful come summer when I don't have to worry even a little bit about whether the cat will get out with the kids.
The cat is happier now. If the kids are bothering her, she can just go out. She is clawing the carpet less. She loves to be outside when the kids are.
Our neighbor has been so patient with us through all of this, too. She never complained when I called to let her know the cat had gotten out. She let Red Chief and Tiger Lily come over to visit her chickens. I'm so happy that we've been able to get to know her—it's such a blessing to have a neighbor nearby whom we know and trust.