The Tribe of Rushing Water is a group of cats that live in the mountains past Highstones.[1] The Tribe is very similar to a Clan, but feature different positions and terminology.[2] They also have different naming traditions.[3] They have a custom of "sharing prey," where they take a bite of their prey, and then give it to another Tribe cat.[4]

Tribe hierarchy

Cats of the Tribe are divided into several categories: to-bes, cave-guards, prey-hunters, kit-mothers, kits, elders, and the Healer. In addition, when the Healer feels it's necessary, they will pick a Healer to-be that will take their place once they pass. Cats can also stay with the Tribe for a while, and then leave, an example being the six cats who traveled to the sun-drown-place.[5]


The Tribe's Healer acts as the leader and medicine cat to the Tribe.[6] Not only do they lead the Tribe, they also use healing herbs to cure wounds and sickness.[7] The Healer receives signs from their warrior ancestors in the Cave of Pointed Stones.[8] They interpret the signs of rock, leaf, and water to read messages from the Tribe of Endless Hunting.[9] Unlike Clan cats, Healers do not dream.[10] The Healer also almost never leaves the cave, because unlike leaders they do not have nine lives and it's easier for them to be killed.[11] The only times they come out of the cave is for to-be ceremonies.[12] Every Healer changes their name to Teller of the Pointed Stones, or Stoneteller, once they become the Tribe's official Healer.[13] The new Healer is appointed by the previous Healer.[14] [15]


Prey-hunters are the lithe, quick cats of the Tribe who can jump high to catch mountain birds such as eagles or hawks to feed to their tribemates.[16] Prey-hunters are tribe cats whose only duties are to catch prey for the tribe.[17] They are the hunters of the Tribe, using stealth and surprise along with camouflage to catch their food.[18] It is their responsibility to feed the Tribe and catch their prey, especially for the nursing cats, and the young and old.[17] They depend on speed, for there are not many places to hide in the almost-bare surroundings.[19] Normally prey-hunters hunt in teams to help catch prey.[20] Prey-hunters often coat themselves with mud; this disguises them, covers their scent, and protects against the wind.[21] A group of cave-guards accompany them to spot trouble.[6] Prey-hunters are chosen from birth for their lithe and agile build.[22]


Cave-guards are thick, strong, and lean cats that protect and guard the entrance of the Tribe's cave.[16] They are the main fighting force of the Tribe and have the responsibility of defending the cave from predators such as big birds.[23] Watching the skies to protect the prey-hunters from hawks and eagles while they hunt is another one of their responsibilities.[6] They are also the most experienced with fighting.[17] To hide their scent and blend in with the rocky scenery, they often coat themselves with mud.[24] These cats are chosen from birth for their muscular and stocky build.[25]


The Tribe's equivalent of an apprentice,[2] to-bes are young cats in training.[6] To-bes are trained in either prey-hunting or cave-guarding.[26] The Healer of the Tribe decides the path of a kit. This is typically based on if a kit looks like it can run fast or has a strong build.[6][27] Tribe cats believe that they are born into their duty, though they can change positions.[6] Unlike Clan apprentices, to-bes start training at the age of eight moons.[28] The Stoneteller will receive a message from The Tribe of Endless Hunting when it is time to choose his own to-be.[2] Once this happens, they can become something else, but as noted by Brook in The Sight to Hollypaw, most do not.[29]


As their name suggests, kit-mothers are she-cats who are expecting or nursing kits,[30] the equivalent of queens.[16] A prey-hunter or a cave-guard becomes a kit-mother when they become heavily pregnant and they can't continue with their duties.[23] When they have their kits, they remain kit-mothers for a time to nurse them.[23] An ancient tradition is that the kit-mothers name their kits after what they see when their kits are first born.[3]


Elders are the oldest and weakest cats in the Tribe.[31] Elders are retired cats that have stopped doing their Prey-Hunter or Cave-Guard duties.[32] They are often consulted in difficult times.[33] The elders of the Tribe have a very similar role to the elders of the Clans. They are fed by the Prey-Hunters and are protected by the Cave-Guards.[32]


Kits are young cats that are not yet to-bes; the same as Clan kits.[34] They are too young to do to-be duties, so they stay in the nursery with their mother.[35] Kits stay a kit for eight moons.[36] At their birth, it is foretold by the Tribe healer if they will become a prey-hunter, a cave-guard or the next Teller of the Pointed Stones.[28] Kits that seem fast and lithe are prey-hunters; kits that look strong will be cave-guards.[17] They can be to-bes when they are eight moons old.[28]

Hunting techniques

Tribe cats have their own special way of hunting. Prey-hunters find some prey (i.e. a mouse), sit in a hiding place, and wait until they see an eagle (or other bird of prey) attack the prey. They then jump onto and kill the eagle, thus delivering two pieces of prey for the Tribe.[37] The six questing Clan cats learned this technique to some extent, most notably Stormfur.[37]

Naming techniques

Kit-mothers name their kits after the first thing they see after the birth of their kits, for example, Brook Where Small Fish Swim, or Jagged Rock Where Heron Sits. In Cats of the Clans, Rock notes that he finds this method strange, as he perceives that this way of naming kits would cause many kits to be named things like "Wall of Cave," or "Floor of Cave."[3] Unlike the cats of the Clans, Tribe cats shorten their names (e.g. Brook, Jag).[7] However, the Ancient Tribe uses the same naming conventions as The Ancients. For Example: Bright Stream, Silver Frost, and Dewy Leaf. When a cat is appointed to healer, their name is changed to Teller of the Pointed Stones.[13]

Religious beliefs

The Tribe of Endless Hunting is comprised of the spirits of the ancestors of the Tribe of Rushing Water.[38] They send warnings and signs to the Tribe healer and will show them which to-be should train to become the next healer.[39] They are the equivalent of StarClan.[40]
Tribe cats believe in an afterlife similar to the Clan cats. The ancestral spirits that make up the Tribe of Endless Hunting are similar to those that make up StarClan. However, they are born in the Tribe.[41] The Tribe of Rushing Water contacts their ancestors every full moon in a ceremony called the Telling.[42] This occurs in the Cave of Pointed Stones.[43] Unlike the Moonpool, the Tribe of Endless Hunting contacts the living cats through omens and not dreams.[9]

General Tribe cat terminology

  • Beetle-brain – Friendly insult; similar to mouse-brain.[44]
  • Caught-prey – A dead prey animal caught for the purpose of consumption; similar to fresh-kill.[19]
  • Time of Freed Water– The season of spring, known to the Clans as newleaf.[37]
  • Time of Frozen Water – The season of winter, known to the forest Clans as leaf-bare.[45]
  • Tribe of Endless Hunting - Similar to StarClan, these are the Tribe's ancestors.[41]
  • Giving of close comfort - Act of cats grooming each other; similar to sharing tongues.[46]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Revealed in Dawn, page 294
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Outcast, page 53
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 82
  4. Revealed in Outcast, page 224
  5. Revealed in Moonrise, page 129
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Revealed in Outcast, page 52
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 225
  8. Revealed in Outcast, page 294
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in Dawn, page 305
  10. Revealed in Outcast, page 92
  11. Revealed in Outcast, page 270
  12. Revealed in Outcast, pages 270-271
  13. 13.0 13.1 Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 295
  14. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 289
  15. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 290
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 137
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 223
  18. Revealed in Moonrise, page 132
  19. 19.0 19.1 Revealed in Moonrise, page 114
  20. Revealed in Outcast, page 216
  21. Revealed in Outcast, page 322
  22. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 2
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 118
  24. Revealed in Outcast, page 274
  25. Revealed in Moonrise, page 116
  26. Revealed in Outcast, page 222
  27. Revealed in Outcast, page 220
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 5
  29. Revealed in The Sight, pages 234-235
  30. Revealed in Moonrise, page 194
  31. Revealed in Moonrise, page 112
  32. 32.0 32.1 Revealed in Moonrise, page 111
  33. Revealed in Outcast, page 95
  34. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, pages 4-5
  35. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 4
  36. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 6
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 140
  38. Revealed in Dawn, page 6
  39. Revealed in Dawn, page 55
  40. Revealed in Dawn, page 301
  41. 41.0 41.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 263
  42. Revealed in Moonrise, page 1
  43. Revealed in Moonrise, page 2
  44. Revealed in Moonrise, page 173
  45. Revealed in Outcast, page 113
  46. Revealed in Moonrise, page 159
Hierarchy and positions in the Warriors world
Clan Hierarchy KitsApprenticesWarriorsDeputiesLeadersQueensEldersMedicine catsMediators
Ceremonies VigilApprenticeWarriorDeputyLeaderElderMedicine catName changing
Tribe Hierarchy To-besCave-guardsPrey hunters‎Kit mothersHealer/Stoneteller
Miscellaneous General Clan informationGeneral Tribe informationCat names
Other Groups LonersRoguesKittypets
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