A Paw In Each World tells the story of Gnarus, a half-LionClan, half-TigerClan cat who set the modern Clans’ view on crossbreeding and half-Clan cats.
Out of Character it was written by Wildlark and finalized on 3 March 2010.
A Paw In Each World
In the times of the Great Clans, crossbreeding with cats of other Clans was not considered the best choice for having kits—-the resulting offspring were usually dead or deformed—-but there were no strict rules against it. It wasn’t until one undefected (or so it seemed) cub was born that the Clans truly realized the danger of half-Clan cats, even if all the cats had been of the same species.
The cub was christened Gnarus, a name given to him by his mother, a TigerClan queen. To this day, no one is sure who exactly his father was, but it was plain to see from Gnarus that he had LionClan blood in him. The cub had tawny fur and a tuft of hair on the tip of his tail, with dark stripes and a white underbelly inherited from his mother. More importantly, he was the biggest cub at birth that any of the Clans had seen in many moons, and he grew even bigger at an alarming rate. What was more, he had an arrogant, cruel temper; as soon as he was big enough to go out of the nursery, he terrorized the TigerClan camp, mercilessly chasing the warriors’ tails and drawing blood in what were supposed to be play fights with the other cubs. Even his mother, a patient and experienced queen, could not change his dishonorable ways.
“If you keep acting like that,” she would warn him, “you will never be a good warrior and you will be shunned by not only TigerClan, but the cats of all Clans.”
Gnarus would growl at anyone if he couldn’t find a retort, and soon, teeth and claws became his main source of communication.
There was only one cat in TigerClan who truly thought Gnarus could be a great help: Avaru, the leader. At the time that Gnarus was born, he was training his own young daughter, Brevi. But though she was a wise cat and good with diplomatic skills needed for a leader, Avaru knew that she needed a real fighter to stand by her side and help her defend her Clan. That was where Gnarus came in. Avaru began training the younger cub as well, forming an early mentor-and-apprentice bond. Yet Gnarus mainly agreed to being taught because he had never been allowed to fight before; there had been years of peace among the Great Clans, and all of the other TigerClan warriors chastised him for attacking them in camp. Gnarus practiced fighting with a ferocity that the leader had only seen in real battle. By the time he began to grow in a mane, Avaru was exhausted in a way he had never been before when he trained with Brevi and other cats.
When there finally was a chance at a true battle for Gnarus, he began to notice something at Gatherings. He had never felt any love for the TigerClan females, having been yowled at by them when he was little. But now he felt drawn to the LionClan females. He knew he had lion blood in his veins, but even he was surprised when he felt himself not fighting at his best in his first battle, trying to take part of LionClan’s territory with the other TigerClan warriors. Then he felt anger boil inside of him when he saw Brevi attack a LionClan female. He leapt into the fight between the two she-cats and ended up killing Brevi, his own leader’s daughter. For the rest of the battle, he raged against the striped cats that had once been his Clanmates. Then he stood with the other LionClan warriors as they watched the TigerClan invaders head back to their camp, defeated.
Gnarus felt no shame in him for betraying his birth Clan. Perhaps LionClan would be more accepting of him. And at first, he was right; despite knowing about Gnarus’s infamous temper and his parentage, the LionClan leader, Hetasha, welcomed the warrior into the Clan as a hero. Like Avaru, Hetasha saw Gnarus as an advantage for his Clan, and told his warriors to treat Gnarus with the upmost respect. While Gnarus got a few frowns and tail twitches for his rude behavior, the LionClan warriors accepted him as one of their own kind, lest he turn on them like he had with TigerClan.
But then Gnarus began to notice something. He had mated with several she-cats in LionClan, including Taqua, the warrior who fought with Brevi in the battle, yet none of the females were expecting cubs. A few were growing impatient and finding other mates in the Clan; soon after they mated with other toms, they all were expecting cubs. It dawned on Gnarus that he could never be a father. No one is sure how this was such a big deal to him, seeing as he never tried to have relationships with other cats; perhaps he felt ashamed that there never have a son or daughter that would understand what it was like to be half-Clan. Whatever the case, he grew more aggressive than ever before, snarling at any cat who even tried to talk to him.
Eventually, Hetasha tried to put a stop to Gnarus’s mysterious mood change.
“Gnarus, this is your Clan now,” the leader told him in private. “You must put your own troubles aside for the good of your Clan.”
Gnarus whipped around and shouted, “This is not my Clan! I don’t belong anywhere!”
He then attacked Hetasha. The fight that ensued resulted in the death of Gnarus; even with his moons of experience, it took all of Hetasha’s strength to make the final bite to the neck. The LionClan leader suffered mortal wounds and died shortly afterward.
The Clans chose to bury Gnarus carelessly in a field of stones in what is now TigerClan territory, a place that became the final rest for traitors, and where the cats in a much later time would later stay away from in fear of other creatures there. Hetasha rests in the territory that he called home, under the big sycamore in ShadowClan lands. There would be some time before it became the burnt tree it is today, but that is another tale.
Today, the cats of the Clans are all the same kind, and are different in much more subtle ways than the Great Cats. Still, it is shameful to a warrior and their Clan to mate and have kits with members of a different Clan. Both the parents and offspring question their loyalty to their birth Clan, resulting in warriors that cannot properly defend their leader or Clanmates and, in many cases, are a danger to them.
Hetasha was honored by all the Great Clans and is still an honored warrior today. It is thought that he aids warriors in battle against foes that are seemingly impossible to defeat, just as he fought Gnarus.