Mateo the familiar
He looked at me carefully and apparently came to some kind of conclusion. “I’m more than just a house cat. This was just the most inconspicuous and nonthreatening form I could take. I’m a shape shifter.”
Mateo is one of those rare characters that comes to you fully formed and pushing to be written. I have had many people fall in love with him and at the same time want to throttle him for how overprotective he can be.
Questions and theories abound about his ultimate role in Joss’ life. I could elaborate, but he would pin me to the counter and scare the beejezuz out of me. Mateo is pretty secretive about his past and having lived over two thousand years – he’s got a lot of past.
Shape shifting is how he protects Jocelyn from the many dangers that surround her life.
“I didn’t want to scare you as I’m usually much larger. I prefer to take the form of a Clouded Leopard. I usually shift into some kind of cat: cougar, tiger, lion, house cat. But I can take the shape of pretty much any animal. I’m most comfortable as a leopard.”
And protect her, he does! Some of my favorite animals are depicted in the shifts that Mateo makes in the name of protection. Then again some are just downright funny.