Casale's in the Sand

by Kristin Casale, Reporter

Trace and Judy Meredith would like a mother fox and her four pups to have a good home -- just not the one they have made under the couple's garage.

I visited the Merediths the afternoon of May 15 hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the foxes, but unfortunately, they were hiding while I was there. Trace warned me before I came over that I probably would not see the foxes, because they normally only come out at night.

On the rare occasions when the couple spots the foxes during the day, they have photographed them. That is what Judy did when she discovered the animals in the backyard a month ago.

"She probably thought I wouldn't believe her," Trace joked.

The foxes have alternated between living in a space under the garage and a hole they dug in the backyard.

While I was at the Merediths' home, I saw the area under the garage and the hole where the foxes live. Trace said he did not notice the hole was there until after the couple discovered the foxes were living under the garage.

Since the animals have moved in, Trace said he and Judy have noticed signs of the foxes' presence.

"You can hear dogs howling at night," he said. "It's like they know [the foxes] are there."

Judy said the animals also have left evidence of their hunting habits.

"We haven't seen any raccoons or anything since we found the foxes," she said. "We also found a couple of squirrel tails [they] left behind."

Trace said even though he has enjoyed observing his new neighbors, he wants them to relocate because they are afraid the foxes will go after their cat, Shilo.

Trace said Shilo spends most of his time outside, which is something I noticed during my visit. The cat sat in the backyard the entire time I was there.

"[Shilo] just sits there and watches them," said Trace, stating the foxes typically keep their distance from the cat. "If I didn't have a cat, [it wouldn't bother me to have them there], but I like my cat more than the foxes."

The couple has tried several methods to get the animals to leave the yard.

"I come out and try to disrupt them with a flashlight," said Trace, stating he also tried to force them away by placing a bleach-soaked cloth in their shelter. "They acted like it wasn't even there."

Trace said he and Judy would prefer the animals to leave the yard on their own, stating they do not want the foxes to be trapped.

Stow Police Community Service Officer Edward Young, who works in the department's animal control division, said the Merediths do not need to worry about the foxes going after their cat.

"Unless it's the middle of winter and food is scarce, they're not going to mess with a cat," he said.

Trace said even though he would like the foxes to leave, he understands why they have made a home in the backyard because they have a large hunting area and two shelters.

"They have got it made," he joked.

Turkey seen near Graham Road

While the foxes in the Merediths' yard have stayed put, Hile Road resident Delphine Marinchick said a turkey has been making its way around her neighborhood.

Delphine said she saw the turkey in her garden for several days beginning May 14 before it moved on to other yards in her neighborhood.

"I have a garden path, and it was munching on something in the grass," she said.

I have seen wild turkeys before, but not in Stow. I hoped to see the bird Delphine found in her yard, but when I talked to her, she said the turkey already had disappeared.

Delphine said she did not mind having the turkey in her yard, saying, "I just watched it."

I do the same thing when I find animals outside. As long as they are not the kind that could hurt me, I like to watch how they behave.

Delphine said she is unsure whether the turkey will return, but if it does, she does not plan to disturb it.

"It seemed very tame," said Delphine. "It wasn't very afraid of cars or people who came to see it."

E-mail: kcasale@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-686-3917