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Kick in the Familiar

The cat is often associated with witches as their familiar. However, any animal can be a familiar, from owls to toads. A familiar derives from familiar spirit coming from the word family. Some Wiccans do not think of their familiars as spirits but as animals that they are psychically linked to. So why has the cat, and especially the black cat become so linked as a witches familiars. Part of this might come from the folklore that cat have psychic abilities. A more down to earth answer could be the fact that cats are clever and stealthy and that they can slink anyway without being noticed. And a cat cry can be quite terrifying. However, one can not get away from the association coming mainly from the witch hunts. Many “witches” were spinsters that lived alone apart from their pet cats.


Comments on: "Kick in the Familiar" (2)

  1. There is definitely a stereotype of the ‘crazy old woman with cats’ and indeed many fine witches I know do have cats (including me, 2 calico short hairs!) but the familiar is whatever you are close to, isn’t it. The animal that helps you in your day to day work.

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