Sorry, cat lovers, you're gonna hate me for this one.
I don't mind cats (or dogs, birds, etc.) but I very specifically don't want a pet in my household. Yet I have a problem that I'm unsure of how to deal with in a reasonable way. This is all in Denmark, so US laws and customs may not apply.
This year, a cat has been pooping in our garden, and ripping out grass or whatever else was around the scen of the crime, to cover it up. I obviously don't want this to continue (I would like my garden un-ripped, and my two small daughters would prefer it un-pooped-in also). It also has been leaving little puke pies around our cars in the drive way, which are quite disgusting, too.
But how do I stop the cat? I have tried planting "scaredy cat" plants, whose smell were supposed to discourage cats from coming near, but they don't work. I have also tried putting down metal webbing in the flower beds (because I heard that they don't like to step on such things and/or can't dig in it), and while that worked I can't extend that practice across my entire lawn.
Local law says that it's the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure that one's pet does not annoy others. This means I should go talk to the owner of said cat and ask them to keep the cat out of my garden. To which I would object: (a) I am convinced that no cat owner would agree to confining their cat because it roams in places that other people don't want it to; and (b) I don't even know whose cat this is! I have caught a glimpse of one cat, and followed it to the garden of a neighbour who has a cat door in their front door -- I am aware that this says absolutely zero about whether it's their cat or not. I have obviously not been able to read the chip or tattooed number in the cat's ear either.
I am considering ways of capturing this cat, so that I can either have a proper talk with it, or drive it to a shelter. How would I do that without breaking too many rules and laws?
Edit, as more info about (my relationship with) the HOA was requested. We are 37 households, and only we and 2 others have (small) kids -- the rest are pensioners. We are talking with only two other households; there is not a lot of communal spirit here -- the first HOA meeting I attended, about a week after we moved in, made it clear to me (in ways I shall not go into here) just how hostile, ludicrously infantile, and petty these people are (even towards each other, not just "newcomers"). Later, I requested that the run-down communal play area receive a bit of maintenance, only to be shot down rather rudely. I am decidedly not in good standing in their minds, and that is why I cannot think they would be very inclined to help me avoid their shit in my garden.
Update I did not want anything water-driven, as just tonight the temperatures went to 6 degrees below freezing. But I've now installed a pair of these ultrasonic "cat scarers", hoping they work. There's a number of such devices, and common for them all is at least 40% one-star reviews and a minority of 5-star reviews; these ones are one of the few models with the "best" (which does not imply good) reviews.