I have a plea and hope everyone who can make a difference will take this plea to heart.
If you have a cat, please please please PLEASE keep it in the house. There do exist people like me who do not own cats and have young boys who like to be outside. Contrary to popular belief, cats do not always bury their "business." They'll relieve themselves wherever they feel like it and let the rest of us deal with it. Fences don't keep out cats, they go wherever they feel like. It is a pet owners responsibility to monitor their pet and clean up after it. Do not send your cat out at night (or in the day) because they will wander into other people's yards and leave their mark. This is not only disgusting, it is highly dangerous for young children. It is especially dangerous for crawling children and those who still put everything in their mouths. And if you don't feel anything for other people's children or yards, at the very least do it for your cat. Cats live longer healthy lives if they're kept inside.
We have a colony made up of feral and domestic cats in the neighborhood that frequent our yard to do their dooty, I mean duty.
I hate it. With a passion.
I don't take my boys out into our own yard unless I first run a check of it and can clean up. Usually, I just forgo the whole ordeal because leaving my boys' presence for a mere ten seconds throws them into fits of despair. I want to plant flowers this spring and briefly thought of how much fun it would be to involve my oldest in the project. That was, until I remembered that I can't have him digging in the dirt that is crawling with cat crap.
"Just get a cat trap," you say.
"Sure," says I, "and taint all relationships with neighbors (who[...or is it whom?] we have brought it up to) in the process. That and the fact that any time we catch a cat I would have to get all the kids in the car and haul it to the shelter." I am thiiiiis close to doing it though. For now, I'm laying out cayenne pepper and keeping the bb gun loaded.
Please keep your cats inside!
P.S. If you happen to live in the rural countryside, I am of the opinion that it is perfectly fine to have an outside cat. How else are you supposed to get rid of mice in the barn or shed? Plus, with so much of a lack of pavement, cats in the country will tend to do their thing where no one is going to come across it so parents don't have to worry about their little ones so much.