Oliver is a kittypet. After a run-in with a Clan cat as a kit, he thinks of nothing more than meeting the cats again. But when they return, Oliver feels that he may have bitten off a little more that he can chew...
LEADER: Ruststar - ginger tabby tom with a scar on his flank DEPUTY: Whisptail - white she-cat with gray whisps of fur all over her MED. CAT: Leaftooth - tortoiseshell tom Apprentice - Snowpaw WARRIORS: Tallfoot - ginger tabby tom with big, white feet Fernwhisker - gray she-cat with bright green eyes Apprentice - Darkpaw Heavyfoot - dark brown tom, rather large and muscular Dustfoot - white tom with brown feet Apprentice - Beetlepaw Whitetail - white she-cat Oaktail - dark brown tabby tom Apprentice - Stormpaw Graypelt - long-furred gray tom Yellowtooth - light brown tom with disgusting yellow teeth Thornpelt - black tom with spiky fur Birdclaw - white and gray she cat Bluepelt - bluish gray she-cat Apprentice - Waterpaw APPRENTICES: Snowpaw - white she-cat Darkpaw - dark brown tabby tom Beetlepaw - gray tom Stormpaw - dark gray tabby tom Waterpaw - blue-gray she-cat ELDERS: Rockfoot - gray tom with a crushed foot Cloudeye - ginger she-cat, blind QUEENS: Breezefur - gray she-cat (Mate: Dustfoot) Kits: none yet Tanglepelt - white she-cat with tangled fur (Mate: Tallfoot) Kits: Applekit (reddish tom) and Mousekit (brown and white calico tom)
(updated allegiances are here)
LEADER: Heatherstar - light brown tabby she-cat DEPUTY: Swift-tooth - black tom MED. CAT: Cloudfur - short-furred white she-cat WARRIORS: Moorfur - very short-furred gray tom APPRENTICES: Harepaw - light brown tabby tom
LEADER: Troutstar - sleek-furred gray tom DEPUTY: Creektail - blue-gray she-cat MED. CAT: Dappletail - tortoiseshell she-cat Apprentice - Splashpool
LEADER: Duskstar - golden-brown tom DEPUTY: Cedartail - dark brown tabby tom with a white tail-tip MED. CAT: Spottedfur - dark tortoiseshell she-cat Apprentice: Graypaw WARRIIORS: Lionclaw - ginger tabby tom APPRENTICES: Flamepaw - flaming ginger tom Graypaw - gray tom
Oliver - black tom with a white chest and paws Elvis - black tom with a torn ear --------------Elvis and Gwen's Kits: Gwen - white she-cat, lives with Elvis -Oreo - black and white tom Bale - lean brown tabby tom -Panda - black and white tom with a white spot around his eye Jules - reddish tom with bright green orb eyes Hoof - dusty brown tom, lives on a horse farm Lemon - Hoof's only kit, fur has a yellowish tinge
Oliver sat on the fence, wrapping his tail around his paws. He stared at the Twolegs walking by on the path that ran behind his nest. In the distance, he could see the farm: the strange creatures that he knew to be called horses running around it, and among them, two cats.
He knew, beyond the farm, was a forest. In the forest were more cats. Oliver had only met one of them, and he was still scarred from the experience: he had been a kit and the biggest cat he had ever seen emerged from the woods, spitting and hissing, on one of his adventures to the farm. Oliver had retreated quickly.
Suddenly, a voice below him mewed: "Thinking about going back?"
It was Elvis, a jet-black tom. His green eyes gleamed as he looked up at Oliver. "I've heard stories about those Clan cats, Oliver. I've met a few. It's not a good life, I promise you."
Oliver jumped down from the fence and nudged his friend. "I'm just remembering when I met one as a kit," he explained. "That was enough for me."
Elvis glanced behind him. Oliver could see his mate, Gwen, and their two kits, Oreo and Panda, padding along the path towards Elvis.
"We're going on a walk to go meet Bale," Elvis explained to Oliver, turning back.
"That sounds nice," Oliver commented. "I was thinking of going to see Jules. Can I walk with you?" he asked politely.
"Jules is stuck inside," Elvis told Oliver.
Oliver scoffed. "Not since his Twolegs put in that cat door." He remembered that day vividly: he and Jules had run through it, back and forth, until they had become too dizzy to continue.
"Oh," Elvis mewed. "Well, in that case, let's go!" He turned back to his mate and kits. Gwen was trying to get Panda to jump over a small log in the way of their path. Oreo was running in circles on the other side.
Oreo spotted Oliver. "Oliver!" he cried, racing to meet his father's friend.
Elvis stepped in Oreo's path. "Oreo," he warned.
Oliver knew what the problem was. Oreo had a tendency to use his claws to greet other cats in his excitement.
"It's fine," Oliver purred to Elvis. "It's a stage."
Elvis let his son go with a stern glance, and Oreo scrambled to Oliver's feet. He stopped and looked up in awe at the fully grown cat. "Hello," he mewed breathlessly.
Elvis's eyes brightened at his son.
"Hello," Oliver purred to Oreo. "Where are Panda and your mother?"
"Over there," Oreo replied in his squeaky voice. "Panda's too scared to jump over the log!"
"Why don't you go help your brother?" Elvis asked sternly. "I'm sure he'll appreciate it."
Oreo raced back to the log.
Oliver purred at his friend. "You'll be a good father to these kits, I know it."
Elvis cast Oliver a strange look. "How old are you?"
Oliver puffed his chest up proudly. "11 moons in a quarter-moon."
"10 moons?" Elvis translated. "Okay."
The two toms purred at each other.
Gwen padded over with Oreo and Panda scrambled after. "Hello, Oliver," she mewed pleasantly.
"I'm traveling with you," Oliver told Gwen. "I'm going to go see Jules."
"Okay," Gwen mewed easily. "Oreo and Panda will be very happy," she murmured to Oliver under her breath. "They love you."
Oliver purred at Gwen. "I try hard."
They set off down the path, Oliver gazing at the farm every once in a while. He imagined Hoof and his kit, Lemon, running around with the horse.
As they neared a brown, ratty fence, a cat appeared on top of it.
"Hello," he mewed irritably.
"Hello, Bale!" Elvis mewed happily.
Bale wrinkled his nose at the younger cats. "Can you stay quiet? I'm taking a nap and"- he paused to glare at Oreo and Panda- "these kits are disturbing me."
Gwen nodded. "Okay," she mewed gently. She called for her kits. When they scampered over, Gwen whispered, "Okay, we're going to play a game!"
The kits squealed loudly, and the toms and their mother winced.
"The game is..." Gwen seemed to search her mind for a game. "You have to be as quiet as possible as we creep past Bale's garden."
"I'll judge!" Oliver says, happily leaping up on the fence next to Bale.
Bale's eyes had a little gleam in them. "Thank you," he murmured to Oliver before jumping down.
Oliver watched as the kits creeped as silently as possible past Bale's garden. As soon as they reached the end, both of them erupted in a chorus of "Who won? I beat him! I know I did!"
Oliver glanced at Gwen and Elvis, who were looking on respectfully.
"Both of you lost," Oliver told Oreo and Panda. "You didn't go all the way to the end!"
The two kits complained loudly.
Oliver sighed. "It doesn't matter, we can try again when we come back! Now, come on! I'll race you to Jules' den!"
Elvis and Gwen purred at Oliver as he nodded to them and raced after the kits.
Jules' den was only two gardens away, but Oliver slowed and let the kits win.
Oreo skidded to a stop in front of Panda. "I win!" he crowed happily. "Panda, I beat you!"
"Oreo," Elvis mewed behind Oliver, "congratulate Panda. He is the winner because he hasn't said anything yet."
Oreo shrunk down in front of his father. "I won," he squeaked.
Elvis shook his head. "But you were rude about it," he explained gently. "We can't have that."
Panda looked triumphant, but he stayed quiet and listened to his father.
Oliver was beginning to feel his fur grow hot. He felt embarrassed, having to listen to his friend scold their kits.
At that very moment, Jules appeared over the top of his fence. His reddish pelt and green orb eyes shone in the sun. "Hello," he called to the cats below him.
Oliver looked up. "Hello," he said happily, glad for the chance to be rid of the awkward moment. "What are you up to today?"
"I was actually about to go down to your garden," Jules told Oliver, "and ask you to come visit Hoof and Lemon."
Oliver glanced at the farm, and beyond it, the forest. "Okay," he mewed agreeably.
The two kits began a chorus of complaining. "Why?" they asked. "We were having so much fun!"
Oliver purred. "I haven't seen Hoof and Lemon in a while," he explained. "I see you two every day."
The kits seemed to think about this. "Okay!" Panda finally mewed.
Jules leaped down from the fence. "See you," he mewed to Gwen and Elvis.
Oliver followed his friend.
Jules wrinkled his nose as they approached the moor grass. It appeared to be more like moss than it was grass.
"It's just not grass," Jules commented as they padded across it. Oliver was beginning to smell the horses, but he stayed quiet as Jules continued, "Why do we call it grass if it's just moss?"
"Why don't you call it moss, then?" Oliver asked. "Maybe it'll catch on."
"Not with those Clan cats," Jules mewed darkly. "Have you seen any of them? I've heard that they've got collars made of bones with no bells."
Oliver snorted. "No, they don't! They don't wear collars at all."
Jules stared at Oliver. "How do you know?"
"I've seen one," Oliver boasted, his chest heaving with pride. "He was the biggest cat I've ever seen!"
"Oh?" Jules snorted.
Oliver nodded seriously. "His muscles rippled with every step."
Jules shook his head. "I'll believe it when I see it."
They were approaching the farm now, and Oliver could now clearly see the figures of two cats racing around the horses. One was dusty brown, the other white-furred.
"Hoof!" Jules called cheerily from his place next to Oliver. "Lemon!"
The two cats stopped running around the horses and instead pelted toward Jules and Oliver. They skidded to a stop easily on the moor grass.
"Hello!" the dusty one said.
"Hello, Hoof," Oliver mewed formally to him. To the white-furred one, he greeted, "Hello, Lemon!"
Lemon purred. "Hello," she purred. Up close, it was clear that her fur had a strange yellowish tinge.
Hoof was clearly bursting with excitement. "I'm so glad you two came! Especially you, Oliver!"
"What's up?" Jules asked, tipping his head to one side.
"A warrior cat just came!" Hoof burst out. "He said he was looking for a black-and-white tom."
Oliver looked at his own pelt. It was indeed black and white. "Me?" he breathed.
"Yes," Hoof breathed, nodding. "He said he wanted to talk to you before it was too late. He said that he'd be coming back later today."
Jules' eyes widened. "Did he?"
Lemon nodded. "I guess they want to talk to you before you go to the vet."
The vet. Oliver shivered. "Well, I'll do anything to escape the vet," he joked.
"Good," Hoof breathed. "Here he comes now. He's brought... companions."
Oliver looked up. With a chill, he recognized a strong dark brown tom. He was being led by a ginger tabby tom and a whispy white she-cat.
"Hello," Oliver mewed, stepping forward.
The ginger tabby tom looked surprised. "When I came earlier, you said he lived too far away to fetch," he mewed.
"He came for a visit today," Hoof explained.
"Is this him?" the whispy white she-cat asked the dark brown tom.
The dark brown tom nodded silently. "Indeed he is."
"What is your name?" the ginger tom asked Oliver.
Oliver told him, "My name is Oliver."
The three cats nodded slowly. "When Heavyfoot met you a few moons ago," the ginger tom explained, gesturing to the dark tom with his tail, "he was impressed by your strength."
"But I ran away," Oliver explained. "Because he- Heavyfoot was hissing at me." His name sounded strange on his tongue.
"We admire your honesty," the white she-cat mewed. "But you are still a strong-looking cat. We would like you to join our Clan, StormClan."
Jules, Lemon, and Hoof gasped. Oliver did his best not to look surprised. "You do?" he asked. "Why?"
"We need more cats," the ginger tom explained. "And when Heavyfoot came and told me about you, we couldn't refuse this chance."
Oliver's heart was pounding. "What if I say no?"
"I don't reccommend you do that," Heavyfoot growled.
The ginger tom hissed a warning at his Clanmate. "The offer will still stand," he mewed. "You can accept it at any time you wish."
Oliver thought. "Okay," he mewed finally. "Let's go."
Jules' cry of despair echoed loudly around the farm. "No!"
"They need me," Oliver explained excitedly to his best friend. "And I promise when I get a chance I'll come back."
Jules nodded silently and slowly. "I know you must want this, so I'll just let you go," he purred. "Even though it's hard."
Oliver touched his friend's nose. "It's fine," he purred. "Can you let Gwen, Elvis, Panda, Oreo, and Bale know, too?"
"Thank you," Oliver told Hoof and Lemon. "I really appreciate this."
"Are you ready?" the ginger tom asked Oliver. "It's a long way to camp."
The three cats turned and walked slowly towards the woods.
Oliver waved his tail at his friends and followed.
As they slipped between the trees, the white she-cat told Oliver to remove his collar.
Oliver had managed it before. He slipped a branch under his collar and pulled. The collar snapped off and he buried it.
"Now you're officially one of us," the ginger tom mewed.
Oliver nodded nervously, suddenly aware what he had gotten himself into. Now he could never go back. He had to become a Clan cat now.
The cats were all staring at him. Heavyfoot's gaze was especially expectant.
Oliver cleared his throat. "May I ask what your names are?"
"Oh!" the whispy white she-cat exclaimed, looking around at the ginger tom and Heavyfoot. "We forgot to introduce ourselves!" Her kind gaze settled upon Oliver as she said, "My name is Whisptail."
"Hello," Oliver mewed formally to Whisptail. "Nice to meet you, Whisptail."
"Kittypet," Heavyfoot muttered.
The ginger tom nodded at Oliver. "I am Ruststar."
"Hello, Ruststar," Oliver repeated. "Why is there a star in your name?"
"I'm the Clan's leader," Ruststar explained. "Come along, and I'll explain to you on the way."
Oliver padded next to Ruststar as he explained that there were four Clans, and that the three cats Oliver was travelling with lived in StormClan. He described the battles they had won to deserve their territory.
"StormClan is the strongest Clan, by far," Whisptail explained. "But we are also the smallest," she added. "Which gives us a distinct disadvantage against our enemies, the other three Clans."
Oliver stared at her in disbelief. "Drive them out! If your Clan is the strongest, it should be easy!"
"That would go against all StarClan has fought for," Ruststar sighed. "Long ago, there were four Clans- called ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan. When a force that we do not speak of drove them out, some came here and restarted the Clans, under different names."
Oliver stared at him in awe.
Ruststar continued, "The others who weren't killed or seriously injured became rogues or loners or-" he shuddered- "kittypets."
"Is that what I am?" Oliver asked. "I've always called myself a housecat."
"We refer to your kind as kittypets," Heavyfoot put in. "We are not allowed to associate ourselves with them except in times like this."
Oliver wrinkled his nose. "What kind of time is this?" he asked hesitantly.
"We need more cats," Whisptail explained, "if we are to defend ourselves." Her voice rang through the trees.
Ruststar stopped short. "Somebody is listening," he hissed. "I can smell them. Over there."
Oliver too smelled the distinct smell of another cat, but he stayed perfectly silent and still, just as the other cats were doing.
A much smaller cat padded out of the bushes. He looked about Oliver's age, except much stronger and wilder. He was a dark gray tabby tom.
"Stormpaw!" Whisptail exclaimed. "Where is Oaktail? Isn't he supposed to be training you?"
"Yes," Stormpaw muttered. "Except he sent me hunting and I smelled a kittypet-" he stopped suddenly and looked Oliver up and down. "You!" he hissed. "You're the kittypet!"
Oliver dropped into a crouch. "No, I'm not," he growled.
"You sure smell like it," Stormpaw retorted. "You're not supposed to be here, don't you know that?"
"Stormpaw," Ruststar mewed sharply. "Oliver is with me. He is joining StormClan as a warrior apprentice."
"Oliverpaw?" Stormpaw sneered. "Great name."
Heavyfoot hissed. "We can inform Oaktail about this," he reminded Stormpaw. "You won't be allowed out of the camp for a quarter-moon."
Stormpaw froze, quivering. "You wouldn't," he growled.
"I would," Heavyfoot retorted. "And if you speak another rude word towards Oliver, I'll make sure I do."
Stormpaw glared at Heavyfoot, but then dropped his gaze, submitting to the larger cat's demands.
"Come back to camp with us," Whisptail mewed to Stormpaw. "I'm sure you've caught something?"
"Not yet," Stormpaw explained, licking his chest fur, "because I smelled Oliver."
Heavyfoot narrowed his eyes, but Oliver said quickly: "It's fine." To Stormpaw, he mewed, "Well, hunt on the way back! That's possible, isn't it?"
"Not with you guys all talking," Stormpaw muttered.
"Okay," Ruststar mewed agreeably. "Oliver, you go with Stormpaw and try to learn as much as you can from him."
Stormpaw's jaw dropped.
"Stormpaw, you be nice. Take Oliver back to camp when you're finished, and then we'll give Oliver his apprentice name."
Oliver shivered with excitement.
Stormpaw sighed. "All right," he mewed, "if there's no other way." He padded off.
Oliver looked back at Whisptail for reassurance but only found Heavyfoot's encouraging stare. He followed Stormpaw.
"You followed faster than I thought you would have," Stormpaw mewed. "You just have to be quieter."
Oliver tried stepping over twigs and leaves and walked slower. It worked.
"Good," Stormpaw praised. He seemed much nicer now, Oliver thought happily.
Stormpaw put his tail over his mouth, signaling Oliver to be quiet and not move, and crouched down. He creeped forward slowly, and Oliver saw what he was doing: hunting a squirrel. The squirrel was nibbling on a nut and didn't notice Stormpaw.
Oliver watched as Stormpaw jumped on the squirrel and killed it with a quick bite to the neck. Looking up, Stormpaw noticed Oliver staring. "You like that?" Stormpaw asked.
Oliver couldn't help but nod. He felt like a kit.
"Come on, then, I'll take you back to camp," Stormpaw mewed. He padded off to his left, and Oliver followed.
After what felt like forever to Oliver- running and jumping and avoiding bushes- Stormpaw skidded to a stop. "Quiet!" he hissed at Oliver.
Oliver crouched instantly, tail flicking back and forth. What was going on?
Fire burst from the trees. Oliver yelped with surprise.
Stormpaw did not hesitate to blow out a powerful breath. The flames dissolved.
"Flamepaw," Stormpaw hissed. "Oliver, run!"
Oliver's heart was pounding too hard to run anywhere. He stayed where he was as a flaming ginger tom emerged from the trees.
"Stormpaw," the ginger tom hissed.
"What are you doing in my territory, Flamepaw?" Stormpaw hissed back.
Flamepaw did not reply. He had noticed Oliver. "A kittypet?" he snorted. "Why is he here, Stormpaw? Shouldn't you drive him off?"
Oliver's heart was pounding. "I'm a warrior apprentice," he said bravely, standing.
Stormpaw looked surprised, but kept his eyes on Flamepaw. "Yeah, and his powers are more powerful than both of ours."
Flamepaw looked alarmed and backed away. "I'm sorry to disturb you," he told Oliver. "I won't bother you again." He stumbled away.
Stormpaw stared at Oliver.
Oliver blinked. "Good going. Do I actually have powers?"
Stormpaw purred. "Ever gotten a dream where cats talk to you before?"
Oliver shook his head.
"Then, no, I don't think you have powers," Stormpaw muttered. "Come on," he added. "Let's get back to camp before Ruststar misses us."
The journey back to camp was filled with silence, but Oliver knew that he had gained Stormpaw's trust. Oliver was made to promise that he wouldn't tell any cat about Stormpaw's abilities, and in turn, Stormpaw would help him until he got used to Clan life.
The camp itself was in a old, abandoned Twoleg nest.
"The Clan gathers at the bottom," Stormpaw explained. "And Ruststar's den is over there," he added, pointing to a small hole in the wall of the nest. "Nobody gets to go in there unless you're the deputy or the medicine cat. Snowpaw refuses to tell me what it's like!"
Oliver took a step closer to try and see inside, but Stormpaw pulled him back and directed his attention to the other side of the nest. "That's the medicine den," he said, pointing to another hole. "It's actually quite nice in there, but you don't want to see the inside unless you're injured or sick."
Oliver nodded and looked at the den for a bit longer. As he watched, a snow-white she-cat padded out of it.
"That's Snowpaw," Stormpaw informed Oliver.
The Clan cats that were padding around had finally noticed Oliver. They padded to him with interest, and before long Oliver had a large crowd of cats around him. He tried to find something to say, but luckily, he heard Ruststar's voice behind him.
"Yes," Ruststar mewed, "this is the kittypet. His name is Oliver and he is joining our Clan."
Oliver heard questioning cats in the crowd. "Oliverpaw?" they asked.
Ruststar purred and clawed his way up the wall where there was a small ledge sticking out of it. He stood on it.
"Oliver, please come forward," he mewed.
Oliver took a step forward, his heart pounding.
"This cat has come to be accepted into the Clan," Ruststar began informally, looking around at his Clan. "Until he earns his warrior name, he will be called Patchpaw."
The Clan chanted Oliver's new name. "Patchpaw!" they called. "Patchpaw! Patchpaw!"
Ruststar stared down at Patchpaw. "Patchpaw, you will be trained by Heavyfoot."
Patchpaw swung around to look at the big brown tom. Heavyfoot detatched himself from his Clanmates and padded over to Patchpaw. "Touch my nose with yours," he instructed Patchpaw quietly.
Patchpaw obeyed quickly. He pulled away from his new mentor and looked around for a cat he recognized, either Snowpaw, Stormpaw, or Whisptail.
He finally met Whisptail's gaze and she nodded at Patchpaw.
Stormpaw scurried up to Patchpaw. "Hello, Patchpaw!" he purred. "Wow, I can't believe you got an apprentice name so fast! There was this leader once, he was a kittypet like you. To join his Clan as an apprentice, he had to fight his way in, they say."
"He had to fight his way in?" Patchpaw asked, awed. "Into StormClan?"
Stormpaw shook his head. "No, into one of the ancient Clans. I think Cloudeye said it was ThunderClan..." he trailed off. Seeing Patchpaw's confused look, he mewed, "Oh, Cloudeye's an elder. That means she lived a long life serving our Clan. She's blind now, so Ruststar changed her name to describe her cloudy, white-looking eyes."
Patchpaw looked around. He could see other cats that looked about his age crowded together, whispering about him. Stormpaw followed his gaze. "Oh, those are the other apprentices!" he mewed. "Come on, I'll introduce you."
Stormpaw led Patchpaw across the wooden floor and stopped in front of the group of whispering apprentices. They stopped as they saw Patchpaw approaching, too.
"Hello," Patchpaw mewed. "I'm Patchpaw."
"We know," one said coldly. It was a gray tom who looked older than the majority of the cats.
Stormpaw grimanced at the gray tom. "Calm down, Beetlepaw."
"Oh, your name's Beetlepaw?" Patchpaw asked, trying to be friendly. His mind was spinning. When his Twolegs had adopted him as their housecat, Jules never acted like Beetlepaw!
Beetlepaw nodded curtly at Patchpaw and said to Stormpaw, "Why are you being friends with him? He's a kittypet. Obviously."
The other apprentices nodded their agreement, but Stormpaw only gritted his teeth and said, "Patchpaw, meet Darkpaw, Snowpaw, and Waterpaw." He pointed to a dark brown tabby tom, a snow-white she-cat Patchpaw recognized to be the medicine cat apprentice, and a blue-gray she-cat. "Now, come on, I'll show you the apprentice's den."
Patchpaw looked over his shoulder as Stormpaw led him away, and he saw the other four apprentices staring after at him. When they saw him, they begin to whisper much more furiously.
"What if they never accept me?" Patchpaw asked Stormpaw quietly.
"They will, don't worry," Stormpaw mewed reassuringly, "they're just jealous."