For the month of April I will be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Learn more about the challenge by clicking here. Each day (except Sundays) I will be posting a theme based on each letter of the alphabet. This blog is covering paranormal topics for the month. To read my automotive blog posts for the challenge, click here.
Cats were often popular familiars, at least when it comes to folklore, which is why you always see pictures of witches with a black cat nearby. In actuality, many occultists do feel that animals are more sensitive to the spiritual realm that is all around us, especially cats and dogs, although some other animals are preferred by certain individuals. Some use these animals as guides, others as a warning when malevolent beings are nearby.
Of course, as is the case whenever the subject of magic comes up, there are those who feel that familiars are really demonic forces that are trying to lead away innocent souls to hell. I wouldn't argue that there are no mischievous or even evil familiars, but I think most are not used in harmful ways. They are more similar to a guardian angel since they act as a spiritual guide and protection. Some people even think that familiars are actually fairies.
One of my favorite books of all time, Bless Me Ultima, portrays an owl familiar, although the term is never used in the pages. The Crow movies and comic books also make use of a familiar in the plot, as do the Harry Potter books and movies.