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I also don't like the idea of just letting pets in and out as they please - even cats. I can see letting dogs come and go into a fenced backyard but allowing cats to wander the neighborhood at will is at least a violation of leash laws around here... (It's also a potential danger to the pet and a nuisance to the neighbors.)

Very true sjfans - I didn't address this part of it, but it's definitely a consideration. Delta only has access to her own fenced yard, and even then we do have to be careful about things like the meter person coming. We actually leave her in the house when we're not home, with no outside access unless it's by accident and we forget to shut the door to the room she stays in. Some sort of fenced in area for the cat(s) would be ideal IMHO (I realize it would require a 'roof' though..).
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