Alternative, Affordable Treatment for Feline Leukemia
The "Burroughs' White Cat" Challenges the Board

By Roger Holden


My name is Roger Holden from Lawrence, Kansas. I was a friend of William Burroughs. I am honored and graced that our friendship evolved into an artistic collaboration that was included in "Ports of Entry", his landmark 1996 artistic retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Specifically, our collaboration was a series of 3D stereograms that were adapted from samples of his artwork(refer to "Ports of Entry: William S. Burroughs and the Arts" Sobieszek; page 149).

In 1993, William gave me "Porch", a stray cat who in a sickly, dying state wandered on to his front porch as if to ask for help. William with the help of Dr. Bradley, a brilliant and compassionate local veterinarian nursed Porch to lively health in 3 or 4 weeks. My good catfriend Porch subsequently lived with me until July of 1995 when he then passed on from the ravages of feline leukemia. His picture may be found at my celtic rock band's Uncle Dirty Toes website

Currently, I am the caretaker of Marigay, "The White Cat", the familiar of William S. Burroughs. As presented by William, in the book Last Words, the Final Journals of William S. Burroughs; editor James Grauerholz, Marigay symbolizes the Searing White Light of Truth.

When as a gift from William, Marigay first entered my life in January of 1997 at an estimated age of 3 or 4 years, he was a tough 13 pound white cat with an immense territorial control instinct. When he was outside, the neighbors knew him as a bully cat whom thought of himself as king of the city block. Marigay dissappeared the week of Williams' death and funeral (August of 1997). He had been picked up by the local animal "control" as a vagrant cat. I rescued him from the kitty prison and subsequently nicknamed him Butch. Now whenever he would go outside I would go out with him and monitor his locations.

In late May of 1999 Butch (Marigay) was chased under my porch by a German Shepard dog. It was only the next morning that I realized that he had been bitten and his health was declining rapidly. The prognosis by the veterinarian was that Butch would soon die from cat leukemia. His white and red blood cell count seemed hoplessly low. The docter told me he had 1 to 3 months at the most to live. This was a devastating blow to me as he had all of his leukemia shots since 1996 and previous testing showed that he had no virus.

This time I was determined to see if there was any alternative treatment available which would help Butch. I would be heartbroken to see another catfriend given to me by William succumb so soon to the ravages of feline leukemia. The first thing I did was to treat him with traditional prescribed antibiotics to assist with the healing of the dog bite and its infection. I simultaneously searched the internet for any seeming reliable alternative treatment for feline leukemia. The first ones I found seemed to be complicated, involving needle injections, exotic phamecuticals and strict regimental administration. Those sadly would have been beyond my means to deal with. Then the breakthrough came. In my internet research I found a site which mentioned that "Flor Essence" an herbal Essiac tea had been used to treat feline leukemia with apparent success. Essiac tea is an herbal combination presented originally to the modern world through an Ojibwa native American herbalist. It has apparently been used successfully for decades to fight and win over cancer, leukemia and other dreaded diseases. Here is a good website for information on Essiac tea in general.
Flor Essence is a version of Essiac tea that I used for the treatment of Butch. The other versions of Essiac tea available may just as well produce equivalent results. It is my opinion that the "Flor Essence" Essiac tea has produced the miraculous results I will now report.

The antibiotics I gave Butch in late May and early June of 1999, no doubt in my mind, significantly helped to fight the dog bite infections. But while I was giving him the vet prescribed antibiotics, I was told by the same doctor that Butch's blood cell count was so low that he would not live past August 1999. A neighbor told me of a vet who performed acupuncture and chiropractic treatments on animals. I took Butch there immediately for such a treatment from Dr. Van Petten. Web info:

Dr. Van Petten told me that the procedure he undertook might help to stimulate Butch's kidneys and liver. In addition I gave Butch pinches of Vitamin C (calcium asorbate I was told would digest appropriately in cats stomachs) in his breakfast. His diet was also changed to a prescription diet.

All in All I would have to say that the Flor Essence seemed to me to be the catlyst for his remarkable recovery, with the other things I just mentioned, lending assistance to his treatment. Butch's blood count almost reached normal levels within three weeks. By August 1999, they were essentially normal. He has been in remission ever since. He runs up a flight of stairs in one second!

I started by giving Butch 2 tablespoons of Flor Essence everyday mixed in with a spoonful of his canned food. After August 1999, I cut down to apx. 1 tablespoon of Flor Essence a day. Now his daily maintance dose is about a half a teaspoon everyday. Over the past year and a half there has been a regurgitation or throwing up of his meal, once every other month or so, but the cause of that could be most anything. I am positive that had William still been alive that he would have wanted the word to get out on this possible effective and affordable treatment for the horrible ravages of feline leukemia. The fact that William had bequeathed "the White Cat" to be his "familiar", is reason enough for his fans everywhere to take this news with serious interest. Perhaps there are implications for human Leukemia treatment as well. Perhaps it is imagination and just the luck of the draw. Perhaps it is Magic.

Postscript: As Izzy reminded me, love is the great medicine for our ill animal companions. I can certainly testify that Burroughs LOVED his cats and that I in turn LOVE the White Cat. William put it best in his last written words, "Love? What is it? Most natural pain killer what there is.

Roger Holden


Wednesday, May 14, 2003 6:18 PM

Hi Izzy,

I want to thank you for the privilege of having a web page on your great site which allows the researching of information on Essiac Tea and its possible benefits in the treatment of Feline Leukemia. Butch Burroughs has survived 4 years now with this disease which was originally diagnosed to be fatal after no more than 3 months. I still give him a dash of the Tea mixed in with soft food every morning. Last year Butch had a serious bout with Pancreatitus which was sucessfully treated with orthodox vetenarian methods. Butch is currently in fine health.

I hope all is going well for you,
Roger Holden


From: "Roger Holden" <>

To: <>

Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 8:48 PM

Subject: Margaras (Marigay) The White Cat has passed on


It is my sad task to report to you that Margaras "Butch" Burroughs, the White Cat has passed on to the Western Lands to be with William as of the  evening of March 29.  Butch's feline leukemia finally won over his strong fortitude and stamina. This current bout encompassed a serious declining period of about three weeks. He was put to sleep before the possibility of  any agonizing pain would accompany his impending death.

Having been previously diagnosed in May of 1999 with an assured death to come from this dreaded disease within in a three month period, his survival
in a good natured healthy state until just recently (with the exception of a bout of pancreatitus he overcame) should stand as testimonial to the
"searing white light of truth" of questioning authoritative control mechanisms, whether medical or otherwise.

Thank you so much for your support over the years for getting the "word" out on this. I will follow up in the next few months with an expanded essay
which will include new ideas for alternative treatments.

Roger Holden

Roger Holden: Collaborating on the Computer with William S. Burroughs

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