My first cat was named Ursa — but first it was Ursula because we thought he was a she. Not that it really matters. He died relatively young and suddenly, and for a little while we thought we could never get cats again.

Then we got Ezio and then Simba. Ezio in particular is always around me, meowing at mealtimes, rubbing against me when he wants to play — and most curious, whenever I perform a magical working of any kind, he stands at my feet and curls his tail around my ankles. I never taught him to do this, this was just something he began doing the first time I banished with him in the room. This is something he does consistently, if not every time.

What do cats know that we don’t? Why is it so natural for wizards and felines to be allies? Is this why they’re called familiars?

Now we have a new kitten named Mikan, who is more assertive than her older brothers. What role will she play in this household?

I was never an animal lover before this, although I did have a pet betta named Machiavelli that I loved dearly. But now I can just connect with dogs and cats. XP spent on Animal Ken, perhaps?

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