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"I can't make all dead cats appear. Needletail told me about StarClan. I've never seen a StarClan cat. I think I can only sense cats who are still tied to the living. They've stuck close to us. They can't move on until they've done what they feel they need to do. Like Needletail. She will only find her way to StarClan when she has finished what she started here."
— Tree on the ghost cats in Darkest Night, page 298

A ghost is a cat who is trapped in the ghost residence.[1]

Description

Ghost cats cannot be seen by the average cat, and can only be seen by those descended from the Sisters,[2] or by other ghosts themselves.[3] They appear as transparent versions of their living selves.[3] However, it appears it is actually possible to scent a ghost, evidenced by Fidgetflake who had detected ThunderClan scent from the ghost of Squirrelflight, though he could not place who it belonged to.[4]
Ghosts are trapped in the residence until they accomplish a task they failed to do while they were alive, or something in the living world keeping them tied from going to StarClan.[5] Cats such as Mistcloud, Birchbark, Beenose, Lioneye, Dawnpelt, Needletail and Spikefur could not move on until ShadowClan was reinstated.[1][5] Ashfoot could not go to StarClan until Crowfeather had mended his relationship with his family,[6] and Squirrelflight couldn't as her body was healing, and felt obligated to stay with her family in ThunderClan.[3]
On the contrary, the Sisters believe that the ghosts guide them similar to the Clan's belief of their StarClan ancestors.[7] Members of the Sisters go to the residence in their death and guide the living.[7] The Sisters can also communicate with the ghost cats, whether they are related to them or not, as was the case with Blade.[8]
In some cases, ghosts are "attached" to a descendant of the Sisters and can only be seen by them, such as Tree with the former ShadowClan cats, or Rootpaw with Bramblestar.[9] While only the living cat can see them without effort, it is possible to bring them into the living world for all to see, as Tree did with his ghosts at the lake and Rootpaw bringing Bramblestar into the ShadowClan camp.[10] However, doing this puts strain on the cat and cannot do it for long.[11]

History

In the A Vision of Shadows arc

Darkest Night

Tree is able to make the spirits of Mistcloud, Needletail, Dawnpelt, Beenose, Birchbark, and Lioneye appear to the Clans, and the spirits urge Rowanstar to have faith in his leadership. However, Rowanstar refuses and steps down from his leadership, reverting back to his warrior name and annexing ShadowClan into SkyClan.

River of Fire

Tree reveals to Violetshine that Spikefur, a former ShadowClan cat, was now a ghost, having sensed his presence.
With the resurrection of ShadowClan under Tigerstar, the former ShadowClan cats are able to find peace in StarClan.

The Raging Storm

Pebbleshine appears as a ghost to her kits, Violetshine and Twigbranch, as well as her mate Hawkwing. After finally being able to meet her kits, and informing Violetshine of her unborn kits, Pebbleshine is able to move on to StarClan, having reunited with her family and finding solace.

In The Broken Code arc

Lost Stars

Rootpaw continually sees a dark spirit around Bramblestar, though he is unable to deduce what it is. Tree also tells Wrenkit and Bellaleaf of their deceased kin around them, though it is unclear if they were a ghost.
Rootpaw later sees an apparition of Bramblestar in SkyClan territory. The spirit calls for help, but Rootpaw runs away in fear.

In the Super Editions

Squirrelflight's Hope

Moonlight reveals to Squirrelflight that ghost cats guide the Sisters, similar to what StarClan does with the Clan cats. She also reveals that all members and those descended from the Sisters are able to see ghost cats.
After Squirrelflight nearly dies, she briefly becomes a ghost while her body heals. She meets Blade, a former kittypet who is now a ghost as well, and Squirrelflight becomes paranoid that she will remain stuck in the unnamed residence. She goes to find Tree, who discovers Squirrelflight and helps her guide her way back to StarClan so she can go back to the living world. Snow and Tempest later reveal that Moonlight has become a ghost after her death, now guiding the Sisters like their ancestors.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Darkest Night, page 300
  2. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, chapter 11
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 374
  4. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 377
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in River of Fire, page prologue
  6. Revealed in Crowfeather's Trial, chapter 2
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 82
  8. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 375
  9. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 305
  10. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 306
  11. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 307
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