"She knew how he relished the freedom of the moor. Why would he want to be tied down with a lame companion?"
Wind's thoughts after Branch leaves her in The First Battle, page 301

Branch is a mottled[2] gray[1] tabby tom.[2]


In the Dawn of the Clans arc

The First Battle: Bonus Scene

Branch is a long-time friend of Wind, and also served as a caretaker for the she-cat after the death of her mother and sister. After Wind complains of hunger, and asks if they could have taken up the cats by the river on their offer for food, Branch snaps at Wind, accusing the she-cat of lack of trust in the elder cat. Wind simply replies that they'd been hunting all day, and this angers Branch, who stalks off across the grassy area.
Wind scents dog and alerts Branch of the smell. Although he is dismissive of the scent, Branch acknowledges Wind's alert and reassures her that the breeze is carrying the scent; he says the dog is a long way off, and nowhere near them. Scanning the moorside, he notices a rabbit. He silently signals to Wind, and positions her in a place where he can chase the rabbit straight towards her. During their chase, however, Branch spots a dog, and his gaze darkens in fear as the dog lunges straight for Wind.
Paralyzed with fear, Wind is unable to move. Branch sees this, and moves into action. Yowling, he jumps and attacks the dog, clinging to its shoulders. Branch slashes at the dog's face, and this causes the dog to yelp and cry out in agony. Shaking Branch off, the dog flees up the hillside and away from the cats. After the dog is out of earshot and eyesight, Branch checks on Wind.
Seeing her wounds, Branch sniffs them. Helpless, Wind cries that her hind leg hurts. Branch tells Wind that she got a bad bite from the dog, deciding that they need to get Wind somewhere safe. He asks his friend if she can walk, and she tries. Staying close, Branch helps Wind get to a safe patch of earth. Wind asks how bad her wound is, and Branch's eyes are glazed with fear. Heart quickening, Wind asks Branch if she's going to die, and he avoids the question. He instead states that he is going to find some moss to make Wind more comfortable, and he walks out as Wind falls asleep.
Branch covers the area around Wind with moss, and this awakens her. Asking for Branch, the tom asks how Wind feels. She says her leg still hurts, and Branch asks if Wind is hungry. Not taking Wind's no as an answer, Branch says that she will have to eat anyways, to keep her strength up, and Wind detects hardness in his voice. Wind tries to reassure Branch that she'll be fine, although Branch straightens himself, and gets up, saying that he'll fetch Wind some food.
When Wind awakens, Branch is nowhere to be found, though she does notice the prey presumably left by the mottled tom. Wind comes to the conclusion that Branch has abandoned her and left her to die, after she recalls his cold tone and distant gaze in his eyes. Branch is never seen again after his departure from Wind's temporary nesting place, and Wind constantly wonders why he left her.

In the Super Editions

Moth Flight's Vision

Branch appears at Wind Runner's leader ceremony. Stopping in front of Wind Runner, he says that he knows she hates him. She snarls at him, calling him a coward, hissing that he left her before she could take care of herself properly. Wind Runner growls that there's nothing she wants from him, and when he says that he didn't mean to leave her, the WindClan leader reminds him that he did anyway. Wind Runner states that in the end it was the best thing he did for her because if he hadn't, she wouldn't have met Gorse Fur, who gave her love and loyalty and kits she is proud of.
Moth Flight doesn't recognize the tom, coming to the conclusion he's a cat her mother knew when she was young as she struggles to recall her mother's stories. Branch leans forward, stating that she deserves someone like Gorse Fur far more than himself, giving her a life.

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Wind: "Are you sure we couldn't share some of those cats' fresh-kill?"
Branch: "You want to eat fish?"
Wind: "I'm so hungry I'd eat anything."
Branch: "Don't you trust me to find us food?"
Wind: "We've been hunting all day."
—Branch and Wind, arguing over prey The First Battle, page 295

"Branch had looked after her since her mother and sister had died of sickness in the last cold season. She knew that he felt responsible for her. He wanted to be the only one who hunted for her; why else would he have refused the fish?"
—Narrator describing the bond between Branch and Wind The First Battle, page 296

"Did Branch leave me to die? He wouldn't."
—Wind's thoughts on Branch The First Battle, page 301

Branch: "I know you hate me for leaving you."
Wind Runner: "You're a coward, Branch! You abandoned me before I could even hunt properly! There's nothing I want from you!"
Branch: "I didn't mean to leave you."
Wind Runner: "Yet you left me all the same! It was the kindest thing you ever did for me. If you hadn't disappeared, I'd never have met Gorse Fur. He's a better cat than you could ever be! He has given me love and loyalty, and kits that I'm proud of."
Branch: "You deserve a cat like Gorse Fur far more than you deserved me."
—Branch and Wind Runner at her nine lives ceremony Moth Flight's Vision, page chapter 34

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Moth Flight's Vision, page 442
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in The First Battle, page 295
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