I saw a bald eagle on the way to work today. A few days ago, a fox sat and watched me pass. There are muskrats in the creek behind my house, and coyotes in the field across the street. We had a kingfisher in the tree out back one summer when the Boy was 2 or 3--the Boy named it Peach and we watched it catch fish out of the creek. Once, that same year, a hawk flew over our house with a snake clamped in its talons. There are raccoons in the neighborhood, I know, because the damned things keep crapping along the side of my house (and yes, it is considered toxic waste, and yes, I'm freaking out about it). And every now and then I'll accidentally scare out a rabbit from under a shrub in the backyard.
I will never move to the west side of town, though, because my animal kingdom is a happy animal kingdom (except for the nuclear raccoon crap). On the west side, you start getting rattlesnakes on the bike paths. Also, a friend who lives over there told us at Mom's Nite last month about how the neighborhood kids were jumping on the trampoline at one of the houses next to the school bus stop, and they noticed a big dog sitting up on the hillside, watching them. When they asked their mom if she knew whose dog it was, she realized it was a mountain lion. I loved Marlin Perkins as much as the next kid, but I draw the line at things that think my kids look tasty.