ASK THE WIZARD: A Familiar Question
Look, mere mortals, upon the disaster laid before you. The blighted land where some higher power has reached from the heavens and flicked all of my worldly possessions over a precipice. My tower lies in ruins. My spellbooks are naught but tattered scraps of vellum. The arcane artefacts of unknown provenance that I have spent months – nay, years – collecting have all been detonated. Who could have wrought such unmitigated disaster on one so powerful as Ulesorin the Green? Who could have bested every arcane defence laid against intruders, slain the loyal imp guardians and despoiled my very bed with inexplicably luminous faeces?
T’was I, Ulesorin the Green! Aided and abetted by the unstoppable deliciousness of the Wood Elves’ locally sourced, ethically harvested and lethally distilled Special Brew. A mere flagon or twelve of that most rare of vintages passed by my lips last night, or perhaps the night before, and behold all that it has undone.
Gone are my less than loyal servants, whom I secretly loathed. Gone is the tower that kept me shackled in this one place when my adventurer’s spirit longed to roam once more. Gone are the dusty tomes that made my great nose twitch and my moustache fidget. Gone too are the sheets which had an altogether insufficient thread count. All is lost, but so much more have I gained. For I am Ulesorin once more, no longer tower-bound and declining but empowered and enraged anew to begin my campaign of vengeance upon all who have crossed me. Starting with the scaly wench who stole the very yellow from my robes! Ulesorin has returned to the height of his immortal fury, and he is taking this show on the road!
Cat/Dogweazle* (*delete as appropriate) writes:
As I embark on my wizarding career I have given much thought to equipping myself as fully for the future as possible. I have been thinking particularly carefully about the subject of familiars and I wanted to ask where you stood on the question of which would be better: a dog or a cat?
While I have communicated in the past about the particularly evil nature of the feline species, it should be noted that they are altogether more conducive to the lifestyle of a wizard. For instance, you do not wish to interrupt a seven-hour scroll study session to go for a walk in the pissing rain so that your familiar can relieve itself, do you? Nay, you would rather have some soft purring beast sat upon your lap, dragging you back from the brink of a pleasant nap with the unpredictable flexing of its claws.
Furthermore, there are a great many rods, wands, staves and staffs involved in the business of wizardry that do not benefit from being used in the game of fetch, being chewed upon or even being slobbered upon. The Rod of Erotic Delight notwithstanding.
Looking into the eyes of the cat, one can see the wicked sharp intellect of a predator, willing to manipulate you with glamour and guile to get whatever it desires. Forever, in taking a cat as a familiar, will you be challenged. Forever will you be playing a game of wits against a beast that knows no mercy and cannot even comprehend the meaning of defeat. A fine tool to hone your mind.
Looking into the eyes of the dog, there is only that vacant vapid adoration desired by those who know nothing of complexity. It is the most menial kind of love: slavish devotion, appreciated only by those who think that complete submission to their will is the only acceptable expression of affection. From a dog you may learn to lick yourself, or release odious aromas.
Travel through magical means is the purview of the wizard, particularly as he grows in puissance, and a cat is much better adapted to cling onto you during transit than a dog. The sight of a dog on a flying carpet is truly piteous. The legs of the beast tremble, the tail tucks between its legs and don’t even ask about how difficult it is to get terror-piss out of a rug.
In conclusion, it is my suggestion that you avail yourself of a cat if you are intent on having a familiar. No, wait, I just thought of something better. A chihuahua familiar. Get one of those, carry it around in your Bag of Insufficient Holding. That would be hilarious. You could even get it a little pointed hat.
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*Disclaimer: All answers are provided for entertainment purposes only. It may not be in your best interests to follow advice provided by a 1794-year-old man who lives alone in a tower with nothing but the distant memories of past glories for company.