The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 2, 2013

August 2, 1997

William S. Burroughs, (February 5, 1914 to August 2, 1997) the son of a wealthy St. Louis family (think IBM), lived in many exotic locales around the world. Most of his final decades  he spent in a modest home in Lawrence Kansas.

In an article written by 
Yony Leyser and entitled "The Cat Offers Itself : How Burroughs’s beloved Marigay was saved from viral feline leukemia using ancient Ojibwa herbs" we find out that: 

.....Besides his devotion to his four-legged friends, Burroughs also maintained a serious love of all things related to science, the occult, magic, and the subversion of tradition and control systems. He received a formal education at Harvard University and briefly studied at medical school in Vienna before dropping out to begin his life as a writer.

What is less well known is that:

Burroughs also subscribed to Cat Fancy for many years, saving hundreds of issues for his personal library. In May 2010, his manager, James Grauerholz, pitched a story to the pussy-friendly publication about the writer’s unwavering love for his kitties. The editors of the magazine must have been startled by the pitch, which began:

While William S. Burroughs is increasingly regarded as one of the most important writers of the 20th century, his artistic genius is often overshadowed by tales of his outlaw lifestyle: founder of the Beat movement; his drug addictions and homosexuality; the accidental shooting of his wife in a drunken William Tell routine; and, later in life, his unofficial status as the godfather of the punk rock movement. Of all the wild stories in Burroughs’s life, the best (and most secret), came last: That he did indeed find love and redemption before he died—through his cats.

Cat Fancy declined to have a story about a major American writer's love for cats in their pages. They turned down the chance to learn more about the man who wrote:

'Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.

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