Saturday, April 12, 2014

change is coming

The older I get the less I like change but this poses a challenge, since change is inevitable.

This week I learned that some change is coming. We've owned our home for almost nine years now.  Most of the houses around us are rentals, which makes for interesting neighbors. The house adjacent to ours to the south is a rental. I learned earlier this week that there are new people moving in next door and they have big plans.

I sort of know the couple moving in, as they were living a few blocks away and I would occasionally say hi when walking by. They have two indoor/outdoor cats, both are mostly friendly. Having two outdoor cats living next door is not going to go over well with Oliver or his family. They consider the neighbor's yard to be their's too. I foresee a lot of fighting in Oliver's future which is making me very stressed.

The other big change is that they are building a new fence. The old one is in pretty sad shape, so it does need replacing.

Believe it or not, I didn't add the cat hole, the board just happen
 to break at the perfect height for cats to walk through!


I learned that the new fence they are installing will go along the property line, which is significantly different than the current fence. The old fence is along the property line in the back of the house but due to the ground contour, it gradually moves up into their property. The new fence is going to be built along the property line for the full length of the lot.

Here is what the current fence looks like (the red house is mine):


And this is where the new fence will go:


Our house, which was built in the early 1900's, is only five feet from the property line. Which means soon we'll have a six foot fence five feet from the house which will block a significant portion of light into the house. This makes me very unhappy. The fence will also block a lot of the indoor cats' view.

Sanborn map from 1902, my house is the one in the middle.

One potential positive of the fence is that the people are considering installing some sort of barrier along the top of the fence to keep their cats in their yard. I'm imagining it might be something like what Kea has on her backyard fence.

Today the old fence was partly taken down, giving Oliver and his family lots of new things to check out.

Pierre

Oliver

Pierre

Pierre

I'm of the belief that good fences make good neighbors. I'm just bummed at the location of the new fence and how it will impact Oliver's territory.

18 comments:

  1. That IS a bummer! Her in Vegas almost every house is walled, and some of them pretty close. I'd suggest growing ivy or vines up your side of the fence to attract birds for the cats to watch--and put out feeders and a birdbath, too. It might turn out to be a nice cozy spot in the Winter for animal life. Fingers crossed that Oliver and family will adjust to the new cats.

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    1. That's a really good idea--I am always trying to grow things in our yard and our kitties are always eating it!

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  2. I'd be bummed too, seriously bummed. I was going to suggest that they put an addition on it to keep THEIR cats in and safely contained. The mention of high vet bills (theirs) from cat fights might seal the deal for them, if they're waffling at all. Feel free to let them know what I had done, with the Palruf sheeting. I'm happy to send you pics or send you the blog post link from 2010 of the addition going up, if they want to see it.

    Fingers crossed things turn out better than expected. The loss of light into the house seriously sucks, though. Trish's idea of ivy and feeders is great, however.

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  3. It's too bad that the new fence will block light - - and I'm sure that cutting down on the "territory" will be a huge adjustment for the cats.....hope everything works out though.......!

    Pam and Sam

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  4. I really like Katnip Lounge's suggestion of feeders and vines. I'm sure if the yard is interesting albeit small, the cats will still be comfortable and happy to call it home.

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  5. Thank goodness. I came earlier and I could not comment at all. I would be stressed too but Oliver and family will likely adjust once the dust settles. That period actually may be beneficial while it's being built as they will have to adjust along the way. Once done, they will be all settled I hope.

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  6. My first reaction is why would anyone build a house that close to their property line?

    I agree with Katnip Lounge! Create a little paradise for birds and small critters on that side of the house: feeders, bird bath, vines and a few plants. I hope they do fix the fence so their cats can't get outside the yard. That would prevent a lot of problems for Oliver and his family.

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    1. It would be fun to go back in time to see what the people were thinking back in 1902! Clearly they were not thinking about what is best for Oliver and his family.

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  7. I bet you can turn the small yard you will have into a back yard oasis and make it cat friendly. None of us like radical change and this is big change. But I bet the cats will adapt better than you think. Have you told the new neighbors about Oliver and his family?

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    1. I have not talked with them yet about Oliver and his family. I wanted to take some time to strategize my approach. I think I am ready to have that conversation the next time I see them.

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  8. That doesn't make us happy either. We did purchase a house with little view in certain places, but it's different when you've lived there and they change it. UGH.

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  9. Of course, you did not make the cat door in the fence--you were just walking by, and tripped, and your foot went through the rotten board! The people putting the original fences up in my neighborhood must have been drunk, as they all missed the survey marks. It could be worse. For many years I lived next to a farm, and cats loved to wander over there. Then it was sold, and a 4 story medical office building with parking lot sprouted up 5 feet from my property line, and 10 feet from my bedroom window. I moved.

    I think some of the previous commentators are correct, that you can make an "oasis" in a small area. Many people do. Garden magazines often show what can be done with a small area. Hopefully the ferals will adjust.

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    1. P.S. You should promote your blog on Wordpress about "cats on a spit" on here. It was very good!

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  10. Ugh, I feel so bad for you. Is there some kind of ordinance you can find that would prevent them from building the fence so close to your home? Couldn't they ask you first?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. As Greg mentioned before he mysteriously deleted his comment, the law permits fences to be built on the property line. Bummer for us.

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  11. I'm sorry that they are feeling the need to change things so dramatically. I can understand why they are doing it, but it is sad they aren't taking into consideration what you have had grandfathered in, *shrug*

    Hopefully in the long run things work out wonderfully and your plan to attract birds makes things much more interesting for you.

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