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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An Update on Magic and Mystic

I'm sorry I haven't been around much this month (although if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you can at least find me there). It's December, so I'm insanely busy running The Artisans's Guild and making jewelry to sell there, plus, you know, DECEMBER. But I've also been spending a lot of my time and energy taking care of Mystic and his sister Magic, both of whom are battling cancer. I won't kid you--it has been a tough time here, although well worth it.

Mystic the Magnificent, skinnier but still handsome

The kittens, as I still tend to think of them, although they're both fifteen, would be turning sixteen on January 11th. Barring a surprise development, Mystic will probably make it, although he gets skinnier and pickier about food all the time, and is on a bunch of expensive medicines. Magic, on the other hand...well, it is the season for miracles, so I guess we'll see. Right now I'm just praying she makes it through the Christmas holiday, when my vet is closed for 2 1/2 days, and I'm working at the shop (where people probably wouldn't appreciate me weeping all over their gifts).

For those of you who didn't already know, Mystic has been battling what we're pretty sure is some kind of lymphoma since May. No one, including my vet, expected him to still be here now, but my cats are nothing if not stubborn. He's gone from 16.8 lbs to about 11, and back in August we had to put him on pain meds for what we assumed was "hospice care" for the last few weeks of his life. Apparently they keep him feeling pretty good, since he's still here. I've given up trying to predict how long he will last, but our best guess is another month or two. In the  meanwhile, though, he is still feeling perky enough to play with his pal Angus and torment his sister, although I have to feed him 6-8 small meals a day and sit with him to encourage him to eat. Plus he gets fluids every other day, for the beginning of renal failure which was probably brought on by the cancer.

Boys will be boys

Best friends

The one good thing about how long this has dragged on is that it has given me time to make my peace with it, as much as is possible. Magic, well, that one is tougher.

"Why do you keep taking pictures of me?"

For one thing, we have an incredibly special relationship. I love all my cats, but Magic is also my familiar, and the only really snuggly one of the bunch. She sleeps by my head and purrs me to sleep each night, and sits on my lap while I eat breakfast. She supervises my writing (and everything else I do) and attends ritual. Plus, of course, she is so much a part of my writing career, I sometimes think she has a bigger fan base than I do!

Helping me write.

Reading at breakfast
 A couple of months ago, she had what I thought was a bad reaction to a rabies shot, and almost died. It turned out my vet saw something suspicious near her spleen on the x-rays and we shaved her belly (she did NOT approve) and did an ultrasound, which showed a cluster of grape-like cysts, almost certainly a different type of cancer. One of the cysts had burst, flooding her body with poison. We put her on prednisone, which might have shrunk the tumors (it is probably controlling the ones her brother has), but my vet always said it was a long shot, and when we did another ultrasound three weeks ago, it showed the tumors had grown to be massive. My vet (who is wonderful, and very supportive) called her "a ticking time bomb." Essentially, one of these--now much larger--cysts could burst at any moment and kill her. It isn't a matter of if, but rather, when. It is too large and chancy to operate on, and there is essentially nothing to do but wait, and be grateful for every moment of every day I still have her with me.

Poor little shaved belly kitty
 Ironically, despite this, she seems to be a perfectly normal (well, if any cat of mine could ever be called normal) and healthy cat. She did suddenly get very picky about food a couple of weeks ago, and there have been two times when she stopped eating (probably from nausea) and I thought, "This is it," only to have her perk up again. Today, she is feeling pretty good. Tomorrow is anyone's guess.

I lost their mom last March, and Samhain three years ago this coming December 28th, so the crazy cat lady with five cats will soon be down to one. They're going to drum me out of the CCL union!

In the meanwhile, I'm doing my best to stay positive, and keep them comfortable. I am incredibly grateful for all the support people have given me online--my peeps are the best. I am ESPECIALLY grateful for the folks who have signed up to support me on Patreon. I'm actually $53 away from being able to cover the monthly costs of Mystic's medication, which is huge. I love, love, love all my Patreon followers. If you're interesting in checking out the reward levels (which start as low as $1), you can see them HERE. (I'm even offering live online witchcraft classes, an "only available there" novel in installments, and private tarot readings.) Even if you aren't interested in doing that, all your messages and encouragement have meant the world to me.

All the Meds. Oy
 I know what's coming, although I don't know exactly when. And I know it is going to break my heart into a million pieces. But these cats have been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and the last fifteen plus years with them have been worth all these hard moments at the end. Love always comes with a price, but it also brings so much joy.

So despite the sadness here, the furball gang and I wish you a very Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a blessed Yule.

"I will bite you."



  1. Our thoughts go out to you darling and your furbabies.

    Phoenix, Mystic and Magick (*hugs*)

  2. My thoughts go out to you and your cats. My heart breaks for you.

  3. You, and your baby kitties, will be in my thoughts. Losing family is so difficult. I can see how much love you have for them. <3

  4. You are so right that the pain you feel now and will feel even more keenly is worth it for the joy, love, and true companionship you enjoy with your cat family.

  5. Feeling helpless when your kitties (kids) are sick is the worst. I still think of my guys as young also, they just stick at one or two years old in our minds. You already used the word, miracle, and I've seen many a cat and dog beat the odds. I wish with all of my heart that the live to be chubby and 20+ years. I know a few who are battling now and CBD has worked many of those miracles in aiding traditional treatments. Silly Sasha is Megan and Theo Rossi's dog (he was in Sons of Anarchy). They made a Instagram page so everyone can follow her progress. It's an inoperable tumor in her nasal/sinus passages. Things looked grim but she is defying the odds and I learned quite a bit. Don't forget about White Coffee cat who after a bit of a rough patch is in full remission. I'm sorry for rambling but my biggest fear is "the day" will come. My crew were bottle babies and I was in a severe depression cycle, they saved me almost 12 years ago. I really mean that and I don't have to tell you the special bond we have with our critters over humans. Just keep believing in those miracles and remember that when they seem worse it's not always that they are near the end it just means that battling cancer will do that. My aunt is fighting (and beating) breast cancer but the treatments and side effects can get hard and scary. Please look into CBD. I hope you have the best holiday possible and these fighters will beat the odds! Xo

    1. Thanks, Raine! Hope your crew stays healthy and continues to make you happy.

  6. Sad, very sad...sending prayers and healing light your way....

  7. I think of and pray for your cats multiple times a day. You and they are so very loved.

    Also, your installment novel is delightful and has made me smile when I don't want to. Thank you for sharing your cats with all of us. My Magic bag is beloved and brings me joy.

    1. And that love is much appreciated.

      So glad you are liking the installment novel! xxx

  8. Sami(my cat) and me send hugs and prayers.

  9. Sending you and your beloved babies positive thoughts and hope for miracles for all of you.