23

Throughout Harry's years at Hogwarts, the strange relationship between Argus Filch and Mrs Norris is mentioned multiple times, with Harry speculating - or at least wondering - if the two of them can actually communicate. This could, of course, be written off as a single instance. However, there's one other confirmed Squib in the books - Harry's neighbour and everybody's favourite crazy cat lady, Mrs Arabella Figg of Little Whinging - who, as it happens, also seems like she might have a slightly unusual relationship with her cat(s):

'Yes, yes, yes, but luckily I'd stationed Mr Tibbles under a car just in case, and Mr Tibbles came and warned me, but by the time I got to your house you'd gone ...' she [Mrs Figg] shrieked...

I've owned cats in the past, and they generally don't allow you to station them anywhere, nor do they typically come and warn you about specific events happening, which suggests that there's something odd going on here.

Is it just a coincidence that the only two confirmed Squibs (as far as I recall) in the entire books appear to have the same unusual ability to communicate with their cats? Is it limited purely to cats or do other Squibs have a similar affinity with other types of animal?

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    Given that those two are basically the only Squibs we ever know much about, I doubt it’ll be possible to answer whether an affinity with cats is a generic Squib trait, or just something those two happened to have in common. +1 for the realisation, though—I’d personally never thought about that before. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 7 '16 at 13:29
  • Does this make Aunt Marge the opposite of a Squib? – CHEESE Feb 10 '16 at 1:45
17

According to JKR (from her old website), Arabella Figg's cats are almost certainly part-Kneazle, something that explains their ability to understand her and obey her commands. Even though she's a squib, she still evidently possesses sufficient magical ability to understand them:

Arabella Figg does a roaring trade in cross-bred cats and Kneazles, and if you don‘t know what a Kneazle is yet, shame on you.

She also confirmed (in a twit) that Mrs Norris is not part-Kneazle, which would place Harry's opinions that Filch is able to communicate with his cat firmly into the realm of paranoid schoolboy fantasy

Q. Who would win in a fight, Mrs. Norris or Crookshanks?

JKR: It would be brutal and very close, but Crookshanks' Kneazle ancestry would bring him out on top.

  • 2
    Did you mean "tweet"? – isanae Feb 7 '16 at 18:26
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    @isanae - I know what I said. – Valorum Feb 7 '16 at 18:30
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    Did you mean "what I wrote"? – isanae Feb 7 '16 at 18:32
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    @isanae - How do you know that I'm not dictating this to my secretary? – Valorum Feb 7 '16 at 18:34
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    @isanae - When I get to 200K, I'm gonna star selling my rep for real money on eBay. – Valorum Feb 7 '16 at 19:04

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