I have heard a lot of debate over the subject of animal familiars. I've heard everything from evil to lost loved ones. I have had the extraordinary pleasure of having a familiar myself and let me tell you there was nothing evil about him! However, he could be mean when he wanted to! What is a familiar, and how do you get one? Let's take a minute to talk about it!
Familiars can be any type of animal. My first was a chihuahua named Foxy. She passed away and for a while I did not have any. We had several pets but none that reached the connection you will have with a familiar. The next was a cat named Bud. He was a mix if Siamese and Egyptian Siamese. I rescued him from abuse by two little boys after months of watching them torture the poor little brown kitten I managed to find him outside alone. When I got him he had a torn ear, and they had damaged his throat by hanging him. I didn't think he would live but I was going to make sure his last moments were spent in comfort and warmth. Their mom called the cops on me and I showed the cop what the boys had done to him. He told her I didn't have the cat, and he then came back to tell me to keep him hidden. I carried him around inside the front pocket of my hoodie for a month feeding him tuna and chicken by hand! He lived! For 25 years! His vet was as sad as I was in the end and cried with me when we made the choice to put him to sleep. His kidneys began to fail and he was no longer able to eat. She said he lived so long due to great care, but I think with familiars they connect with you at the soul's level and a little of your soul becomes a part of them. When he passed away I found Binx. A cat born three days before my 7 year old. I am so sad to say that when we moved he ran away from us. I have other cats right now but none that connect on the same level as a familiar. I think Binx will come back when he is done with what ever he had to go do.
So what animals make good familiars? It varies depending on the witch! Some people are cat people, some are dog people, and others are fond of other things! I have a friend who has found his familiar in a great fat chicken! It's not hard to find your own familiar animal. Meditation helps find your inner personality and can show you the animal you're most connected with. Most common are cats, birds, dogs, and various reptiles. You don't find them, they come to you when they are ready to show you. They don't just feel like a pet they feel like a part of you, when you are sick they tend to try to comfort you and when you are sad they try to cheer you up. They know what mood you are in, even when you are trying to hide your emotions!
So what is a familiar? Well that's hard to say! Back a long time ago others felt that a witch's familiar was given to them by the devil, since we don't believe in the devil that's just absurd. Many witches believe they are the souls of lost loved ones returning to help them cope with the loss and to be a companion for them. Others believe they are a manifestation of our inner animal from our soul. That we create them into being and they find us to assist us on our journey.
What ever a familiar is there are some very defining characteristics that set them apart from just pets. The first being their behavior isn't that of a usual house pet. They tend to show more of an understanding of things going on and even try to assist in certain situations. They tend to live much longer lives than is expected of animals. They learn things faster than normal and they respond to you much better than they do other people.
Having a familiar is a very good thing. They're not evil and they don't try to get you to do bad things. They are just what they are, having a snake instead of a cat doesn't make you a bad person and having a bunny over a cat doesn't make any difference in character. They are just what your personality needs! Everyone has a familiar, witch or not! Most non-witch people consider them pets that they are very attached to!