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Senior scene

May 18, 2013

Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes


We were sure Taffy was someone’s sweetheart who was lost. He was so well-behaved, and he just stole our hearts. We asked and asked all we met in the village, “Is someone missing an adorable long-haired cat? All we asked to no avail.

Time came to encourage Taffy onto my lap. As I picked him up all I could feel was skin and bones. After two weeks of stuffing himself he was still all skin and bones. Something was wrong.

His appetite was waning and then we noticed a limp. One of his extra toes had an ingrown toenail, swollen and nasty looking. This had to be addressed and so we took him to our local veterinarian.

It was a Sunday but they had openings for emergencies so we thought that Taffy could be helped along with the needed vaccinations plus neutering. (Two birds, one stone.) All was on go.

Yes, all seemed to come together when the dreaded phone call came: Taffy’s blood work showed that he had Feline IV. (That’s called “AIDS” in humans) So we had to do the humane thing. How sad. Our hearts ached for him. He was so special and gave us such loyalty and comfort.

I know. I still get weepy as I write this but I must. Did you know that Feline IV can be passed on to other animals? Our little village has many loveable pets. Many walk by here each day taking their owners for a stroll. It would be criminal not to warn all about the possibility of spreading this disease.

We hung a bright red framed poster in our local bank: “Warning…Infectious Feline IV in our area. Vet said: Keep pets inside and away from other animals. Feline Aids is in our area.”

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 80-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can reached at ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at

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