Being a familiar whisperer is not all you'd think it is. Yes, I get to work with animals and magic for a living, but no one calls when things are going right.
And no one wants to hear that their familiar is messed up because they're a bad guardian.
It sounds all PC to call the spellcaster a guardian, but we're not talking about regular pets here. Familiars require special bonding and care, and a lot of understanding. They're not easy to have, but almost no one teaches mages these things.
Take, for instance, this witch I helped about a year ago. Not a hippie-dippie wiccan, she was styling herself more old school. Herbs and rituals and imps and spirits. So she had to have a black cat. Wouldn't complete the look without one.
Problem for her is that cats, especially the black ones, love to hunt imps and other little things. They see right into the aether, and bonding with magic only enhances that aspect. No way her cat wasn't going to go nuts with all the spiritual traffic.
Surprise surprise, she got upset with him for doing what comes natural. Used to spritz him with vinegar any time he acted up. Even after I explained what was going on, she wouldn't relent. So I had to convince the distraught thing to not hunt when she was around.
It's not the animal's fault they get bonded to such nimrods. They only have so much choice in the matter. It's a rare spirit that becomes a familiar, and it's even harder for them to be special amongst the mundane.
Met a guy who only dabbled in sorcery, but he had enough power to get himself a familiar. Not that he realized it at first; he thought he just had a really smart dog.
It warps a mind to be treated like a normal dog when you know you're special. Try as he might, that Lab could not break through and communicate. Totally helpless, and the person he depended upon couldn't understand.
At least that guy took my advice. Now the two of them track missing kids, using their powers together.
Okay, my job isn't totally that bad. I just feel bad for the poor familiars, and I want to slap their guardians around. I wish there was an arcane SPCA for these kinda things.
There is one great thing about being a familiar whisperer; I can work with anyone's familiar. Since I'm not bonded, yet they can all talk to me, I get to watch over them sometimes. Especially the real exotic ones. Last time I checked, you couldn't take a caiman on an airplane.
Just last week I was watching over a pair of ravens for this warlock. Ravens are mischievous enough on their own. Let them learn a few cantrips, get smarter by associating with a spellcaster, and like gets real interesting.
When they weren't going in opposite directions or stealing my keys, we actually had a lot of fun together. After the hazing period, they were remarkably loving and adoring, and we had some great conversations.
Then they managed to complete a storm spell inside. My hair still smells like lightning. Last time I'll watch two ravens at once.