When I lived in Utah my pet peeve was the stray cats and dogs. Mostly cats. And really they weren't strays. They just never went to their own houses. Cats were everywhere leaving their essence all over my backyard so I really didn't want my little kids out there. The cats would wander all over my yard as if they owned the place. Most of the cats were not easily scared but a few were. There were many times when I would chuck a nearby toy at the sliding glass door while I was nursing to startle a cat sauntering through my backyard. I hate cats.
Once I was meeting my visiting teaching companion at her house. There were these evil white cats that were rubbing up against our legs. She told me those cats were the worst on her street. Those cats would actually run into her house and refuse to go back out. I hate cats. My youngest boy was very scared of those evil white cats. He was shaking and crying. Mama didn't raise no fool! I had to pick him up so they would leave him alone.
There is one cat that I periodically catch in my yard now. But very rarely. There are many animals around here. It's kind of cool from a reasonable distance!
We have pictures of a squirrel eating persimmon from our tree. There are often raccoon tracks on our back patio. There are also little lizards (that after nearly 2 years my boys still haven't noticed enough to try and catch! Yay for that!) and snakes.
There was a dead garden snake (a decent sized one mind you) on our front sidewalk about a month ago. Our next door neighbors moved it before my husband could. Today we were taking down our Christmas lights along with everyone else on our street. My husband suddenly told the oldest son not to get close to the plants and flowers. He had been on the grass the whole time so I couldn't figure out what that was all about. Hubby said he didn't want to tell me why and then he finally told me there was a very small garden snake up against the house. I saw it and it was pretty small. But shudder! I guess that's the trade off. Lizards and snakes instead of nasty cats. Honestly, I will gladly take the lizards and snakes over the cats any day.