It’s All in Perspective
Twisted from WARRIOR CATS
Born without knowledge of my father, losing my brother at a young age, and ultimately being abandoned by my mother influenced many of the choices I made. My whole life has been devoted to showing my loyalty to those I care for the most.
All my life, I have struggled with the judging states of cats who believed that I was not worthy of their ranks. To show it was my place I made a decision. It was a very mouse-brained one to make, but I did it anyway.
I knew that having a medicine cat from my kinship would be vital in showing that my sister and I deserved to be here. So, there I sat, long into the night, fighting against the lullaby of the river. All to catch a moth for Mothwing. I cared for her happiness greatly and knew that the ancestors of these cats wouldn’t allow a loner’s kit to become their most special rank. It didn’t fit. Why would they, especially with the cats already so against it?
At last, a single moth, so beautiful and golden, alighted. A mistake that cost it a wing.
With the delicate pinion held in my teeth, I laid it outside the den of Mudspot.
For moons after that night, she trained happily, babbling about how the ancestors always welcomed her. I was glad, but I knew that if one of the StarClan cats slipped up, she would be crushed. It was better that I tell her that the wing was a sign from me and not the spirits of dead cats.
“You? It was you?” Mothwing drew back, her golden eyes glittering with hate. And hurt. I could see the hurt set deep into her eyes. “So StarClan didn’t choose me. I’m a fraud.” She whispered, her ears flattened. I could hear the murmur of the river, even out here.
“Please. I know! I screwed up, but please, let me explain.” I pleaded, keeping my distance. She may be a Medicine Cat now, but she was a full-ranked Warrior and I would not want to receive a blow from her. “I knew that those cats, the ones that these cats claim know so much, wouldn’t have picked you. I mean, cats like us, loners and kittypets, those without the blood of warriors, are accepted more now, but cats still grumble about how cats who have long since gone wouldn’t have allowed it. I was making sure that you, my sole remaining family, would receive the happiness you deserve.” I spoke softly, cautiously drawing nearer. I never knew when she would retaliate and I had to be wary when she was like this.
“And what do you get out of it? What motive, other than the one you have already stated, could you possibly have for this?” She gave me a narrow, suspicious glance.
“I know signs are sacred, and all that medicine cat mumbo jumbo, but please help me. If there is any way you could vouch for me as deputy, I would be thankful. It is the only way I can ensure that we stay here in this clan, among these noble cats. Without that rank, or even the voucher, I fear we may be out of luck.”
The fight seemed to be drained out of her. She made no sound, her mind obviously elsewhere.
“If it truly bothers you that it was not from StarClan, I will go tell Leopardstar that it was me and that you had no idea.”
“No! I’ll do it. I’ll give you a sign. Just don’t tell anyone!”
“Thank you, Mothwing.” I touched my nose to her cheek.
“Don’t thank me. I am only doing this to protect me from whatever evil plan you have.” She spat and stormed off. “Don’t wait up. I have to collect herbs.”
Maybe it was that point of view that got me listed as a villain. Maybe it was that I, an orphan in a clan of families, had no parents to show off my skills to, tell about my achievements, was willing to do whatever it took to find out who my father was. Even Feathertail and Stormpaw had someone they could talk to. Finally, in the dead of leafbare, I found my answer.
I was on the bank of the river, the warm summer sun shining on my back as I perched ever so carefully to snag a fish out of the fast-flowing water. Just as I was reaching for a giant trout that would have fed the queens and elders, a shadow fell over the water, scaring off my catch. Furious, I faced the intruder.
Instead of some rogue my mind thought up, I was faced with the face of the ThunderClan warrior Brambleclaw, although this was an older, more scarred version.
“Hawkfrost. A proud, strong name. Fit for a cat of your lineage.” He spoke gruffly. This definitely wasn’t Brambleclaw, although they looked the same.
Suspicions made me cautious. “What do you mean?” I asked slowly, my claws out.
He sat down and began to lick his paw and draw it over his nicked ear a few times before answering. “Do you know who Tigerstar is?” he asked out of the blue.
What did one of those ancestors have to do with the current situation!? Instead of voicing this thought, I simply nodded. Everyone did. His was a cursed name. He was a murderer, a tyrant, a destroyer. “What about him?”
“I can see in your eyes, you know of him. But you do not know him. He was a great cat, a valuable warrior. He made choices in his life that led to the stories that you have undoubtedly been told. But one of the best decisions I—,” he corrected himself, but I still caught it. “That he ever made was choosing your mother, even though she denied him in the end.” His tone was sad.
“You are him, aren’t you? You are Tigerstar, the cat that slaughtered cats just to satisfy your ambition. I’ve seen Brightheart. I’ve heard of her mother.” I spat, the hair along my back rising.
Despite my threatening display, he continued to calmly clean himself. “Yes, he is I. But, you understand, they were mistakes, choices I regretted my whole life, all the way up to when Scourge tore all nine of my lives away.” His Amber eyes flicked to me. “I never knew you, for you were not around by the time my time was up, but I have been watching you from afar, proud of you. You are a strong warrior, a cat worthy of my blood, just as Brambleclaw, your half brother, is.” A ghost of a smile appeared on his lips.
“Brambleclaw? He is my brother?” I asked, sitting down, a wave of dizziness sweeping over me.
“And Tawnypelt is your sister,” he confirmed. “All I ask of you is that you come and visit me every night, let me teach you moves that will give you an advantage in any battle you engage in.”
Who was I, a former orphan of a loner who didn’t want me, to deny my father, and, secretly, myself, this chance? For moons I trained with him. I got to know my father, got to see his glowing ambition. Closer and closer I drew to the spot of deputy. But I lost that spot the night that Mudclaw died.
The accusation of me helping him shook my frail leader and she stopped relying on me the way she used to. My life began to fall apart.
Brambleclaw began to distance himself from me. I was losing a member of my still small family. I couldn’t let that happen. That is when Tigerstar proposed the plan to make him leader. That way, I could slowly work my way back up and we could one day rule together. I knew it meant taking the life of one of the most beloved cats among the clans, but it was a small price, to me, for that of my relationship with my brother.
I loved my brother, and though I tried to kill him, it was to show that it was only for the good of the forest. It was time that we ascended to our birthright place, Leadership. It was our chance to show that our father’s lineage was not corrupt and that we would have his blood proudly.
But all dreams of our ruling together were shattered when that stick pierced my throat. He was responsible for my death and yet, he bore no shame. “It is not over, brother. We will meet again,” I promised. I would never leave him alone. I would do all I could to make sure we would meet again, no matter what it took. A very bee-brained idea. I know I should have saved my energy to tell him something else. “I’m sorry.” But I wouldn’t leave my body facing away from my beloved clan. No. I used the last of my energy to try and face toward home.
For moons I watched over him, waiting, waiting to show that I was in the right, what Tigerstar said was true. I got that chance with young Lionpaw. A bright spirit so much like my own. That is why I suggested him to my father. Though I only trained him a few times, it still broke me to see him betray us like his “father” had.
Of all the cats I trained, it was Ivypool, the cheeky she, that I prized the most. I picked her out of all of the cats in all of the clans. She was a really promising one. She encouraged the others, and had an unrivaled ferocity that I saw reflected my own. I tried my best. I did everything I could to show her that we were going against a corrupt way of life, a way that claimed you had to be of a certain lineage to be in their ranks. But she betrayed me, just like Lionblaze and Brambleclaw. Even Mothwing betrayed me, choosing the pathetic excuse for a cat Leafpool as a go-to instead of me.
My whole life I fought for one thing. Belonging. I fought to belong to a family. I fought to belong to a clan that never fully accepted me. I fought to belong among the ranks of the cats in the Dark Forest. I even fought for Ivypool, though she never knew it.
Am I perfect? Not by any means. I never was. Did I try to live my beliefs? Yes, I did. And yet, because of the stories of one cat, I was a villain, the cat my mother would say, “Be good or he’ll get you.” I never wanted that. I wanted to be accepted. But I was only ever rejected.