They say cats have nine lives but I know this to be untrue for I’ve had so many more lives. In all but a few, where I perished before I was able to fulfil my true destiny, I have always been a witch’s familiar.
Known by various names in other times and different cultures, my mistresses have all been witches, shamans, high priestesses, sorceresses, oracles and the like. All have been practitioners of powerful magic. I too have learned the craft over the eons, most often from necessity, but it has served me and my mistresses well.
I have always been highly revered, in some cases almost as a deity myself, particularly where my mistress was a servant of Bast. I enjoyed those lives the most, where my appearance mattered often as much as my supernatural abilities. Human folk are superstitious by nature and I am only too happy to perpetuate this unease to my advantage.
Far from being demonic or evil as was thought in ancient times, I am considered to be a guardian angel, of a sort, to my mistresses. Contrary to outmoded beliefs about familiars, I have never met the Devil, nor do I intend to. I am not and never have been in league with him nor was I ever ‘given’ as some pet demon to any of my wards to carry out their bidding. As if! I am a protector and I will do anything and everything in my power to protect what matters to me the most … my mistress. I am a most loyal servant.
I have been fortunate for the most part throughout my numerous lives. I’m an old soul, most ancient in fact. I’ve negotiated all my sacred contracts through my otherworldly knowledge and special skills. Of course, the fact that I have contacts in high places, so to speak, hasn’t hurt either. I am privileged to have reincarnated into each of my lives looking exactly as I do now. There are few among us who can say that.
The wisdom I have accumulated and carried from life to life has been extremely valuable to each of the mistresses I have served. It’s saved lives on many an occasion including my own, for which I am immensely grateful. My mistresses have all been powerful women. I am a coveted black cat and a much in demand familiar. I have been known by many names throughout my time but my real name is Zephyr, like the exotic lily. I like to pronounce it with panache so it rolls off my tongue as Ziffeeerrr as I purr. In ancient Greek my name means ‘West Wind’ and that’s exactly how my name came to be.
Quite literally, I was blown onto the steps on the east side of the Temple of Apollo and found by a coven member serving the Pythia at the time. That was in ancient Greece as I’m sure you’ve realized, approximately 1229 BC by your methods of keeping time.
A strange and sudden wind had whipped up mysteriously that day outside the city, conjured by the Oracle of Delphi herself. It spun into a tight twisting column, lifting me off the ground, sweeping me westwards through the Valley of Phocis and taking me on a journey I’ll never forget. The High Priestess was determined to have me and, as I soon discovered, her wishes were never refused or left unfulfilled. She’d just taken her place at the temple due to the demise of the previous Oracle. Her real name was Aleris but none dared ever speak it. She was only ever referred to by her title as the Pythia. That was not my first life but it is one of significance that I remember. I was originally born on the banks of the River Nile in Egypt an age or two before that.
On many a lifetime’s journey I have crossed paths with the same soul in another Mistress’s body. I delight when that happens. It’s as if no time has passed and we can often pick up where we left off, old friends reunited on a shared spiritual path. I always recognize their souls but they don’t necessarily recognize mine, at least not at first.
And so it was the case in this life when I first met my current Mistress although it wasn’t she who summoned me to duty. No. It was a much more complicated affair than that. This is the first lifetime I have experienced such frustration and reluctance … from me I should I say, not from my ward.
They say you have to learn to move forward. Hmmphhh, I thought I knew so much already, what could I possibly need or learn from her?
A surprising amount as I was about to find out …