Yes, once upon a time, I embodied that witchy stereotype. I had a black cat familiar. You must note that this sentence is spoken with the very same kind of wistful nostalgia you can hear in Meryl Streep’s voice at the beginning of “Out of Africa”, when she says, “I had a farm in Africa.” It was a magickal time. It was during the glory days of my witchdom! Yes, I’m sort of joking, but not entirely. Her name was Raven.
That’s her, sitting under my Co-Exist banner, back at Odyssey Ridge. I rescued her one Yule when my daughter wanted a cat. We were visiting PetSmart (I love that company!) and Lo, there was the Humane Society adoption van out front. We stepped into the van and in the very first cage was a beautiful, long-haired, green eyed, black cat named Raven. Seriously, that was already her name. Was I set up, or what? We brought her home, of course, and equipped her with a collar depicting moons and stars. She fit right into our pagan home. But this was not my daughter’s cat. (We had to eventually get her another one – but that’s a whole other story!) Raven and I bonded from the start. I have had a lot of pets over the years. And I’ve loved them all. But this was something else, something more. Raven responded to my emotions, even my thoughts. She wanted to be nowhere more than in the middle of the circles I cast, in the middle of my altar room and on my lap. She was soft and sweet and affectionate. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard this said about a cat, but she was kind. I never saw her put her claws out, ESPECIALLY not on skin. She would take her very fluffy, soft paws and touch my face gently. She would cuddle up close at bedtime and lick my nose. If I happened to turn my face away (just out of a desire to sleep!) she would put her paw on my cheek and pull my face back to her. (My daughter once told me to stop “making out” with my cat!) I felt that her presence enhanced my workings. And I long for that relationship again. Our journey together, at least in this lifetime, ended a couple of years ago. And even in death, she sent me much needed messages.
Well, my life has seen quite a bit of upheaval since then. I’m in a new state, in a small apartment. And recently, perhaps, in part, because of that nostalgic feeling, I adopted a new black cat.
This is Nyx. Yes, she’s beautiful. And, yes, because of her gorgeous ebony color, I named her after the primordial Greek Goddess of the Night. The name I gave her might have been a mistake, in hindsight. She keeps us up half the night! Granted, she’s still a kitten, but it’s getting old! (Or perhaps I’m the one who’s getting old.) Shortly after bringing her home, I spotted this meme on Facebook:
It kind of sums up her personality. I’ve had cuddlier lizards. She’s cute and all, don’t get me wrong! And it’s really adorable how she has the German Shepard all cow-eyed and totally under her control. But she’s not real lovey-dovey with people!
Further, while Raven was obviously a witch cat, I’m pretty sure this one is fundamentalist Christian. She can’t get far enough away when I sage or cast circle. She gets a very suspicious look on her face when I light a candle or burn some incense. I’m not talking a “curious” look. That would be normal. She looks suspicious and a little worried, like maybe her affiliation with me will cause her eternal damnation.
Also, she likes to chew on things! I swear, sometimes I think I’ve brought home a Labrador puppy! She has chewed through 4 phone chargers, 3 purse straps and even some of my clothing! She tears around the house like a maniac, throws her litter all over and pounces on our unsuspecting, unprotected feet in the middle of the night! Don’t worry! She has a good home here. I’m keeping her! She also does some really cute and cool stuff. For example, we have a patio with a four foot wall. She sits on the top of the wall and watches the birds, the people the dogs, the world. She stays there. It’s really kind of unique and cute. She enjoys watching the swirly water in the toilet when it’s flushed. She leans her front paws and body on the edge and peers down into the bowl as it goes. I’m pretty sure she’s going to learn how to flush it herself soon. (Hmmm…. herein may lie the solution to the kitty litter problem!) And I know it’s really wrong to compare new relationships to old ones… but I can’t help it! I’m hoping she grows out of the crazy destructive phase and becomes a little more affectionate. We’ll have to wait and see. Clearly, my life lessons in patience and tolerance are not yet at an end. I will allow her to grow into the kitty she’s destined to become. I’ll wait.
But that won’t stop me from picking her up and smushing her and kissing her and forcing some cuddles on her in the mean time!
If you have a familiar, be very grateful. I’ve only ever had one. … well… so far..