Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reader Question: How can I tell if an animal is a familiar?


50 comments:

  1. My Thanatos is like you Zeus. When I am gone for more than a day or two, he licks off all the fur on his back legs. Poor baby. He also spends most of his time following me around the house. His brother, Osiris follows me too, way more than they follow my husband, who got them two years before we met. The second date with my husband was actually at his house. He was throwing a gaming party. He told me not to be surprised if his cats didn't come out or come to see me. Within 2 minutes of sitting on the couch both of them were in my lap. He was dumbfounded, telling me they had never warmed up to someone so quickly. He tells people all the time that his cats picked his wife.

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    1. That's such an adorable story! I love it! Thanatos sounds like such a sweetheart. I always feel bad when Zeus overgrooms in my absence (particularly since it led to a skin infection once), but I can't lie that it feels pretty fantastic to know someone misses you that much when you're gone.

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  2. My Deimos tends to chew on my magic books.. not any of my other ones though. That's how I knew. :)

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    1. lol Sounds like my Hermes. He's my destructive little fellow.

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  3. I am just starting to dive into magick and am wondering if my pup and i just have a special connection or if he s my familiar. He is 10 months old and when I leave the house without him will sit and whine and not leave the door until I come home. He wont come upstairs for bed until I come down and touch his head or back. He keeps a close eye on my oldest daughter who has escaped the house before and he always stayed close to her. So I wonder if hes my familiar or just close to his family...

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    1. As of right now, it just sounds like he's a close member of the family. As I stated in the article, familiars usually show some interest in your magickal work. Love and trust does not a familiar make, but they are cornerstones for "familiardom."

      Sometimes familiars do grow into their roles. Apollo was too young for the first several months we had him to actively participate in anything. And I feel like Hermes was a "learned familiar" by the way he starting picking up traits about a year after we got him. It does happen. But until your pup starts showing more of an interest in your spiritual side, it sounds like he's simply your dog. Not to downplay that by any means - he sounds like one amazing puppy!

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  4. Midnight is my deeply loved cat. I did not want a cat with two dogs already , one of them having no love for cats. However, when going to our vet to pick up my little pup I was drawn to a cage on the counter with a lanky black kitten. He was literally jumping at the cage and sticking out his little paws to me. I opened the cage and he literally jumped onto my chest.we nuzzled and I told them I wanted him. Now, my husband is not Wiccan as I am and is very supersticious. He knows black cats to be bad luck. Too bad for him this litter guy and I are staying together. It so happened that both dogs have been maanipulated into loving him. They even play. He only comes running if I call or whistle for him. And, he has issues with two elements; fire and water. I mean he loves fire and water! He gets as close to the fire as possible and stares intently. He is almost trance-like. With water he plays like a kitten. Middy loves to play in water. He also seems attracted to my alter and tools. He will look right at you and knock over a cup of water with his papw just t o play in it. But he has never been destructive with any of my supplies except my book. He loves to eat the corners of the covers. I'm not truely sure he is a familiar but I am ssure of our loveand trust and will welcome him to ritual or circle with me forever. My husband has grown to adore him too.♥

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  5. I've begun to think that my Melinki may be a familiar,she and another cat were left with me for a short time when my ex roommate was looking for a house that would allow pets. Despite me already having my twin tabbies, There was an instant connection with her, she immediately started sleeping in the bed with me, on my shoulder And now she will actually fall asleep on her back in my arms. I had been absent in my faith for a few years and recently started reaffirming it, and she has been sitting with me all while I do my research, and insists on laying on the write ups/ draw ups for my long term book of shadows, as well as my current book.I hadn't thought of any of my pets as more than pets before, but thanks to your posts about your familiars I've begun to think more on it, at least with Melinki.

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    1. Adendem- My ex roommate Chris let me keep her after he found a place, because I found that I couldn't let her go. I've had her for three years now.

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  6. I already had two dogs and two cats in my household and always said no more. My daughter moved and I got her two cats. Unfortunately I had to get rid of one that was not getting along with all the other animals.
    I kept Luce , she follows me around the house, tells me when its bedtime, wakes me in the morning and helps in choosing my crystals.
    Is it possible she is my familiar ?

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    1. It's possible! If you read through the above article, I give all the criteria I consider imperative for familiar status. I hope it helps. Good luck!

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  7. I have a cat...named Sassy, that my daughter and her friend found for me on the side of the road. She was a kitten then. She is a young adult now. I almost didnt keep her as she was skinny and unhealthy looking. But I kept her. She honestly asks like a dog a lot of the time. When I come home she meows and follows me to where I sit down. She then jumps in my lap and rubs her nose and face across mine. When I shut my bedroom door she meows, scatches on and pushes on the door. When I am home she never leaves my side. And also....something very strange I have never experienced with any cat.....I was laying on my couch in the living room and Sassy was laying beside my head. One of my friends came over and knocked on the door. My cat growled when they knocked??? I know dogs do this but Ive NEVER heard a cat do it. I sit possible that my Sassy may be my familiar?

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    1. All of my best tips to find out if Sassy is a familiar is in the article. Best of luck to you!

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  8. My cat Sylvester is.... well lets put it this way.... special. I think he is a familiar because he: Is almost all black, and sometimes, when i am doing a spell or ritual he will jump down from my bed, and butt in. He is a sweet cat, but is he my familiar??/

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    1. Im new to magic, and idk much about it...... so is he

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    2. Color is completely irrelevant to whether or not a cat is a familiar. Not all black cats are familiars and not all familiars are black cats. All of my best tips to find out if Sylvester is a familiar is in the article above. Good luck!

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  9. I'm new to my path and I heard of familiars and wondered if my boxer/lab, Paisley, was a familiar. After reading this, I'm sure she is. I felt a strong draw to her when I first saw her and when we meet she took to me faster than her previous owners or anyone else since she's moved in. I haven't had an experience with a ritual and her but she brings me peace whenever I need it. Since finding my path we've had a stronger connection. Whenever I do some studying she wants to look at what I'm looking at. This is only when I'm studying my path. Thank you for helping me see this.

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    1. I'm so glad this article could help! Thank you for reading and best of luck to you and Paisley!

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  10. As hopefullilly said, I'm rather new to my path as well, but always suspected my sweetheart Mundy was a familiar. I found her at a shelter here in town, and with many cats on the table, she was the only one that strolled right on up to me, pressed her nose to mine, then laid down against my belly at the edge of the table. I knew at that moment I needed her in my life and on my journey.

    She's peeled and scraped the paint off my bedroom door and wails when it's closed, and does none of this to my roommates door. She even does this when I go to the bathroom! My dad used to say, when I lived with him, that she would sit beside the door on a chair and wait for me until I came home, and wouldn't leave that spot until I did.

    Thank you so much for this post. It's only strengthened my belief that she's my familiar, and I her witch.

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    1. I'm so glad it could help! Best of luck to you and Mundy!

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  11. I believe that my little O.P. cat( short for orange peel) has the beginning signs of a familiar. He will sit and chew on my pentacle necklace.

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    1. Apollo chews my crescent moon necklace. It could be a sign! The big thing is if he's involved with your magickal practices. Keep an eye out for little actions that could designate familiardom!

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  12. My kitties Cosmo and Waffle are like Zeus and Hermes and my puppy Sage is kind of like Artie and I think it is very neat to know that others can know so much about Magick because I am a beginner Witch and I really could use some help when it comes to learning Magick!

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    1. I'm glad to hear it! Good luck with your path!

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  13. celena villacresJune 9, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    so im new to this path my husband's step mother is a high priestess. ive only been reading and i do candle burnings.
    But going back to knowing if you have a familiar or not.
    me and my husband own no animals and have two kids one boy and one girl. just as of lastnight i was talking to him about how i need fur baby in my life to keep company during my meditations and studies.
    long story short my husband sends me a picture of beautiful little grey and black cat and say he jumped in my car and got right into my tote bag that has all my books, cards, quartz stones. he said he took him out of the bag and out the car. but refused to leave his side. followed him in the warehouse where my husband works. and purred loudly he said.
    as soon as i saw him in a picture i got chills threw out my body and such a warmth of love in my heart for an animal i have yet to touch or see in person.

    my question is can a familiar get too you threw another human being? (my husband)

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    1. It's possible! My only suggestion to find out for sure is to go through the criteria listed above and see if the new cat fits them. Let me know how it works out!

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  14. When I was 14, my cat wandered up to me at a garage sale. She was this little black thing of a kitten with big orange eyes. So naturally, I became much more interested in the tiny cat than the things around us. For whatever reason (I would never usually pick up someone else's animal) I scooped her up, and she wrapped her arms around my neck like a hug. I told the people that their cat was very sweet and asked what her name was, and they said, "Oh, she ain't ours. We just been feeding her pizza crusts all day. You can take her if you want her." And that was that. We were both already so attached to each other that there wasn't any question. She was YOUNG, but somehow she already knew how to use the litter box. Now I'm 19, and she's still this dainty little cat who wraps her arms around me. She reminds me to drink water, and take breakd from studying. She has full, very vocal "conversations" with me, and always lays touching me (if not curled up in my arms massaging my neck). She always comforts me when I'm sad, and has gotten me through battles with anorexia and depression. She's still my very best friend. I've always told people she's not a normal cat. There's something distinctly human about the way she responds to situations. For example, I took her up to the vet to get groomed, and she yelled at me the entire way up there...right up until the receptionist told me I had the wrong date. Then she shut up, and stared at me the entire way home. I could feel her judging me, haha. I'm not an active witch, but I have those leanings spirtually, and I have never doubted that she's my familiar! The very thought of losing her makes me want to cry.

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    1. What a fantastic story! She sounds very sweet. Best of luck to you and your cat!

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  15. I haven't ever gotten a straight answer as to whether my cat was familiarish or not lol. Things pointing toward yes: he found me around Halloween (and he's a black cat go figure) when he was all hairless, skin-and-bones, and fleabitten after running away from an abusive owner. He also does the rune thing, and will push over my stuff like tarot cards (oddly enough the one that falls out farthest from the box almost always applies to my situation :3) and he will wind through my tools whenever I try to do stuff. On the blue moon he came up and he wouldn't leave me alone xD he's normally not snuggly but he crawled into my lap in the moonlight and just chilled there(after making sure to leave cat hair in my scrying bowl lol). However, he doesn't really interact with me much outside of that, he much prefers to be out and about whenever he gets the chance, and when he's in he just eats and then passes out (in areas I'm not in of course). Also I don't really see him when I meditate. I like to think he is but sometimes getting him to do familiar things is like pulling tiger teeth xD sorry about the rambling I'm tired and found this so yeah

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  16. Apollo looks and sounds so much like my Annabel! I got into Wicca last year in college and one of my best friends got me interested in it. Annabel continually messed with my friend's spell books and gemstones.

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  17. When I was 12 we had a cat wonder over to our house who immediately took a liking to me. She was black and white, and really liked the simple name of Kitty so that's what I called her. The problem was she didn't really like anyone but me. When others would wonder into my room when I wasn't home she would be in there guarding the place, and hiss at anyone who tried to enter. We moved about an hour away from where we found Kitty, and of course we took Kitty with us because I had a good bond with her. These people that lived down the road, and mind you we lived in the country so down the road was quite a distance. Anyway, they seen Kitty one day and stopped in to ask us about her. They said that she was their cat named Boots who had been missing. I felt it in my heart that she wasn't their cat. My parents didn't want to argue since we did find her, but even they felt she wasn't theirs since we found her in a different area. No worries though! No matter how many times those people took Kitty she always came back to me! Unfortunately my mom ended up getting rid of her to the shelter because she couldn't handle her mean antisocial attitude towards other people anymore. It broke my heart beyond belief. It hurt me so bad my mom tried to go get her back but was too late. I still cry sometimes when I think of that. In fact I'm crying now. I loved Kitty so much, and she loved me.

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this! I just love that Zeus chooses runes...that is so awesome!

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  19. I found my kitty Oreo yes black and white he was supposed to go to a good home since the owner couldn't have an entire litter of kittens be was one of the last ones left so I went to take I look I felt a little drawn go him plus he was so cute it was raining that day he came up to me and tried to climb my leg be was so frisky I picked him up and we decided to bring him home I put him in my sweater to shield him from rain and years later I was moving unfortunately I had to get rid of him I was devastated and I brought him to a farm he was ganna be a barn cat a few days later he ran away all the way go the old house I saw him cuz a friend noticed and I picked him up I think he went back to the old house to try to find me now I have him back he won't stop following me everywhere is that a sign he is my familiar?

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  20. Who is to say if a Familiar has to be a Cat or Dog? For me, my first Familiar found me when I was 14. I walked around a corner and felt a familiar spirit as she walked up to me. An amazing filly who was starving. (The horse breeder, was doing this to her to prove a point to another breeder). As soon as I looked into her eyes, I knew we belonged together. It took begging and pleading and a summer of labor and love for me to work off payment for her and set her free. I fed her each day until I had shoveled and cleaned enough stalls to finally bring me to the day the breeder said she could go home with me. He went to put a halter on her and she ran away. I called for her and she happily followed me home. Her name was Ginger fire. She saved me as I had saved her and we were connected for 25 years. We often went for evening rides, bareback and no bridal or halter... two free spirits enjoying each others company.... when she passed, I went years missing her. I have had numerous horses, but so missed that Familiar connection. Then by Chance, I went to look at a horse I was interested in purchasing, when I felt that same familiar presence, not from the horse I was looking at, but from one that came up behind me and nickered in my ear. When I turned and looked in his eyes, I knew my Familiar was back. I have never changed a horses name before, if it came to me with a name... however I knew that the name he had was not his. Chance came home with me that day and has been with me ever since. We have the same connection and bond we ride freely again, no halter or saddle. He is a free spirit and chooses to stay with me. Both times my Familiar found me, I was not looking for a Familiar, I just felt that Familiar spirit and the joy of being reunited once again.

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  21. As we ride in the Moonlight, Spells I have been struggling with come to my mind with ease.... You will know, no matter what the animal when you find your familiar... you will just know.

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  22. Excellent post! <3

    I smiled at all of those furry smoochable faces (great pics)! I am also overjoyed that your babies found you, and that all of your relationships are flourishing!

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  23. I found your article and I guess I have several familiars. I just had one, my As Asa Allqu Qari, a huge Fila....We chose the each other.... He died a couple of years ago and I have a lot of animals following me, they chose me, but I don´t have the same connection. I have cats and dogs all around.... Street dogs just staying in my house and following wherever I go.... Cats coming from I don´t know where, and staying in my home too.... Following me in the garden all the time.... Just that...It´s seems my family is a very big one....Shalom ve Shalon

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    1. Just because they follow you around doesn't mean they're familiars.

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  24. This is such an interesting article! I have a lady kitten that looks like your Apollo and we have had her for 2 weeks and as you mentioned it is difficult yet to know if they have familiar potential. I had been looking for an article as detailed on the subject for a long time so thank you for sharing your experiences and your thoughts. I'm looking forward to test your theories on our little Furiosa and find out if she is a familiar or simply a very cool cat :)

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    1. I just love that you named your kitten Furiosa!!!

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    2. Thank you! My husband is a big Mad Max fan and I wanted the name of a strong woman for this very strong kitty :)

      I love the story of you and Daya!

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  25. My Daya came to me at a very interesting time and in a very interesting way. Our house had just been broken into, and while I wasn't too hung up on the material loss, you tend to freak out a bit about security. Anyway, the weekend after the robbery, I was on Facebook and on one of my neighbourhood pages a lady asked for help in fostering cats that were found abandoned in an empty house. I've had pets before, but not recently, and out of the blue I volunteered to help.
    When the lady arrived with two baskets, she warned me that they were traumatized as someone had set a fire in the house during the night, and that I should just let them adjust. But as soon as Daya's basket was opened, she came out purring and immediately let me pet her. I knew straight away that I would keep her. The other cat never warmed up at all and hid beneath my bed for days before the animal shelter came to fetch her.
    Although she follows me around all the time and always wants affection from me, she's not really a lap cat and she doesn't let me pick her up or hold her close. I'm also quite a bit of a loner, so I'm okay with that, but I really feel that she's like the house guardian. I'm not sure if she's a familiar, but she's definitely something.
    P.S. I was also trying to think of a better name for her when it came time to choose her name, but Daya just wouldn't get out of my head so I figured that's just what her name was...

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  26. Our family dog Fenris is definitely my familiar. He's a white GSD, weighs about 120 pounds. I weigh only five more than that and his ears reach my waist, so you can imagine what a pair we make! I definitely think his soul straddles the line between worlds. To begin with we didn't like the idea of naming a dog Fenris at all, but when we brought him home he made it clear that was supposed to be his name. All our pets do that though, so that's not exactly new. What's very interesting is how he rarely responds to verbal commands - but should I command him psychically, even from half a mile away? He'll come running and do whatever it is I ask, even complicated things. All I have to do is show him an image of what I mean, and he knows. It's certainly come in handy, in times when we can't hear each other. A couple of times, to my shock, he's done the same to me! The first time, I was sitting inside reading, and all of a sudden it was like I got an overwhelming desire to go outside and look at the neighbour's house, so I did, and there was Fen waiting on me. He turned and looked at a pair of boisterous dogs trying to get under the fence into our land, and then he told me to help chase them away. Crazy stuff! He's busted into my room on a number of occasions when I was doing a rune casting, and he's never happy with where the runes are so he moves them around by sniffing them and walking on them. I always use the 'Fen Reading' instead of my initial casting, and it's always very accurate and insightful. He'll come to the door and whine to get in if I don't include him. The two of us went on a walk to the beach to collect seawater for magical workings today, and he took it upon himself to walk ahead and find safe paths over the rocks and seaweed, even slipping and scraping his legs a few times. He would look back at me and wait for me to catch up if he felt I was lagging! While I was collecting, the water was coming in fast up over my arms and feet, and he was pulling the lead, trying to get me to follow him away from the rising tide. He's a great companion and has enriched my life both spiritually and physically.

    Fun addendum: We have a cat called Loki. He's Fen's best friend and they keep each other on the straight and narrow, and while they get into fights a lot, it never ends in bloodshed. Loki is 14, so rest assured there is no Marvel connection. Fen is 2 years old and we didn't ever think that out of our eight cats, Loki would be the only one to befriend him. Synchronicity!

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  27. A couple of years ago, I came across a stray. So I would feed her, outside, basically she stayed outside. Well, one day I was getting ready to leave with a friend and as I pulled off in my truck, she chased me down the road. So I kept her. Brought her in, introduced her to my other two fur balls, and they got along wonderfully. Well, I had her (keena) for another year. Because she always darted toward the door when my hubby came and went. And one morning she got out, and someone poisoned her. Now, before this keena had a litter of kittens, and I kept one of them. But, I took keena to the vets, (3) actually trying to save her. And one place did extensive tests for me (for free, cause it was costly, and I spent the $300 I had at the other vets, just so they could tell me stuff I already knew) so the vets in pennsylvania were kind and understanding, and they did what they could, but couldnt save her, put her down, and it took me along time to get over it, im still not okay. She was my best friend. Well, remember her kitten???? Yeah, nugget is her name! And she is exactly just like her mother! Follows me everywhere, when im at my alter, or spellcrafting, she's so excited to join in. And loves to smell my herbs (not eat) very respectful of my alter tools! And stares at candles with me. I love all my cats, but she has an extra special place in my heart! I love my nugget!!!!

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  28. I was wondering if it's possible to have a person as a familiar. I'm new to the Craft and doing some studying on this. I might sound dumb for asking it but I thought it's a totally legit question to ask. I know you said that it can be an animal-person (because I see animals as people too) along with plants. So my thought was "Could a person be one?"

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  29. My cat sees ghosts.The bad ones he hisses at and runs.The good ones he plays with joy fully.Angels he looks up for long periods of time,then peacefully walks away.

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  30. Ive had my cat mitler (he has a hitler mustache) for awhile now and when i got him my friend and i were walking home from safeway and he followed us for 3 blocks. We tried to get him to go away but it was winter we couldnt find any tattos his ears were frozen off and it looked like he had not aten in days so i carried him home we searched for his owners but never found then and his favorite place is my room could he be my familiar

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  31. When I was very little,we found a pure white cat with green eyes.She was always attached to me,no matter what I accidently did to here.She loves acting like a human.She drinks out of wine glasses at the table and she likes to eat cheese.When ever people would come over,she would always hide from them.Later,I found out some of those people were very negative.She is always sad when I leave and she whines to my mom when I'm away or my bedroom door is closed or when she is not with me.When ever I cleanse my crystals,she always guards them and she is so attracted to them.Recently,my voice teacher(who is a witch)told me that my cat is a familiar.A witch once told my mother that she has witch and fairy blood in her.So that's why I'm wondering,is my cat a familiar?

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  32. Is my cat my familiar? He's 9 years old and always following me around, even to the bathroom. Whenever I let him in to my room he jumps on to my altar and lays down or messes with things, he loves tall places but my altar is very short. And my dresser is cluttered, like my altar with magic items, so if he wanted to mess with clutter he could jump up there. He's my favorite pet and I seem to be his favorite of the family

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  33. My cat China (whom I swear was my familiar) had babies on Earth Day... and when the first kitten was born I felt so drawn to him. I watched him and his brothers and sisters grow up. As each kitten was taken to its new loving home throughout the course of three months, the first born would always follow me wherever I went. I was doing a candle blessing for my husband and he would find where I was and watch. He always seems to poke his head in when I am practicing my magick. His mother died when they were 4 months old.. ever since then his connection to me is stronger. He knows how I feel and knows where I am always. Is he my familiar?

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