Cat in the coop

We live in town. There are stray cats around but we have never had a problem with them. In fact our two hens have cornered them before when they have entered our fenced in yard! Our girls live a very free range life. They get up when they want, always have access to the yard, and put themselves to bed at night. I know, I know, predators. Yes there are raccoons around and I have seen red tailed hawks, I even hear coyotes at the town limits. But sadly, like children, you can’t protect your chickens for every last inch of danger. Each girl has only ever hopped the fence once and after getting their wing trimmed they NEVER did it again. Guess a wing trim is like a chicken spanking!

No this isn’t the cat. This is our Anna, the house cat.
The cat in the coop is too fast to get a photo of!

Recently on one of my night time visits to the coop, I startled and was startled by a cat sleeping in a loose bail of straw in our coop. Our coop is actually just a shed that we added a chicken door to. The cat bolted and I closed the chicken door to make sure it would not come back. As I said, we don’t usually close the door, unless there is snow whipping in.

Yesterday we heard awful “bawk” sounds coming from the backyard. There was Ester cussing this cat out in chicken! I chuckled at Ms Easter. Again the cat took off. My husband picked up Ester and put her in the coop with Goldie for the night and shut the chicken door. It has been below freezing here, so we do have a heat lamp in the coop for the girls, thus making it just a tad warmer then outside.

So this morning, I send my six year old son out to release the chickens. I hear the thunder of footsteps on the back step and then the yell “MOOOOOOM.” Oh no? What happened? I laughed when he told me he opened the door to the coop only to be almost knocked on his bum by a cat coming out! That stinking cat got in again, somehow. Both the girls are fine and we did notice said stray cat has a blue collar. Not so stray.

So what to do!?!? It would appear this poor cat is fearful of the chickens but so darn cold that it will find a way into the shed by any means necessary to stay warm. I wonder if someone dumped the kitty, did it just get out of its house, or is it a “tagged” but outdoor cat. It is fat, so it is fed. But it is cold, so it is sneaking in to our shed every night. My heart goes out to the kitty but I worry about my girls. I grew up raising chickens and our cats never laid a paw on them, but I do not know this cat!

Ahhhh the joys of urban homesteading…… Hey maybe the cat will get that darn mouse that lives in there…. hmmmmm