When I was in Cornwall in 1999, I met Cassandra Latham-Jones, Village Wise Woman, and her familiar, a gray cat named Mab. Back at home the following winter, a black infant kitten found its way to my front door and I knew "my Mab" had found me. Yes, I named her after the witch's familiar. She is now the matron of my home and watches over three other cats and three adult women. We understand that all six of us are her kittens.
Her portrait in the spring garden, on this page, was taken by Amanda Kreglow, one of her charges. In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mab is the queen of the fairies, so I especially love this photo with the fairy paying her homage.
Mab runs the household and does not tolerate misbehavior. She is always present when any of the two or four-leggeds is in distress and simply remains near them, exuding peace and well being. Recently, another of my cats had an operation and was confined for a week. Mab was just on the other side of the door for most of the week, certainly through each night. We have also noticed that Mab stays up and watchful at night until all of her two-legged kittens are home and in bed.
The archetype of the familiar is found in a long line of powerful animal healing spirits, spanning the ages from the animal gods of the Egyptian pantheon all the way through to seeing eye dogs and hospital angel dogs today. Why not give your four legged or winged one more responsibility in your family or work and see what happens?