|"I heard a voice. A voice...from the stars...meant for you."|
|— Spire to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 288|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty six of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 26 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 281-289
- Tigerheart is jerked from his sleep when Dovewing lets out an alarmed cry that their kits are gone. Irritated that he had been woken up, the tabby tom insists they're probably playing hide-and-seek. The smoky she-cat says they're big enough to reach the entrance now, and they had been sniffing around it yesterday. Tigerheart wonders if they're really that big already. Dovewing calls out to Blaze and asks if he's seen Pouncekit, Shadowkit, and Lightkit, but he says he hadn't noticed. She asks Fierce and Mittens if they've seen them. Fierce jumps to her paws; Mittens asks if they've checked outside. Tigerheart notices his mate's pelt bush, and he suggests they go look now. Cinnamon and Pipsqueak abandon what they're doing to help the pair look for their missing kits. Dovewing frets about them running onto the Thunderpath, but the brown-and-white tom assures her they're too smart to do that. Cinnamon states that she's surprised no one saw them leave.
- Feather, a sick white she-cat, mentions that she saw them leave, but she was unaware they weren't supposed to. Tigerheart realizes he had never told the kits to stay inside, for they have always been too small to reach the entrance. He asks Dovewing if she's ever told them to only go outside when with one of them. She blinks, asking if he had in return. The brown tabby is angry that he never told the kits, thinking that a Clan kit would have known that from birth. The she-cat brushes past him, meowing that they have to find them. Tigerheart assures himself that his kits wouldn't have strayed past the hedge.
- The four cats search for the lost kits. Tigerheart notices a group of Twolegs standing nearby; Dovewing announces that she's found Pouncekit, Shadowkit, and Lightkit. The three are sitting in the branches of a tree. Their parents bound over to them, and the tabby tom thanks Pipsqueak and Cinnamon and says that they don't need their help anymore. Anxiously turning towards the Twolegs, the tabby she-cat asks if they want her to distract the group. Tigerheart declines her offer, guessing if they see too many cats they might set up more traps. Cinnamon and Pipsqueak head back inside the den.
- Pouncekit purrs and squeaks that they made it up on the tree all on their own. Her father frowns and asks how they plan on getting down. Ignoring the question, the little she-kit nudges Lightkit and says that Tigerheart and Dovewing are there. The small brown tabby kit announces that they're watching the Twolegs. Shadowkit looks guilty as he sees his parents; he tells them they weren't going to be long, but the Twolegs are being weird. Pouncekit excitedly meows that they've dug a hole in the ground, and she begins theorizing what it might be for. She says they could be storing something for ice-chill, and Tigerheart corrects her to say leaf-bare. He compares his daughter to a stray because of her use of the term.
- Lightkit observes that the Twolegs have put flowers all around the hole, and she thinks it looks pretty. Shadowkit is alarmed as a Twoleg kit breaks away from the group and runs towards the cats. Tigerheart orders the kits to come down so they can go inside, but Pouncekit protests. She suggests he and Dovewing climb up, for they'll be safe. The brown tabby tom hisses at the Twoleg kit, and an older one comes to pull it away. Tigerheart asks his kits if they want more traps, to which the gray she-kit replies that it's not fair, and they want to see more of the world.
- Dovewing's gaze sparks with worry as Pouncekit slithers down the trunk tail-first. As she slips on the bark, the queen gasps and tells the kit to dig her claws in. As soon as the she-kit is close enough, Dovewing grabs her scruff and sets her on the ground. Lightkit climbs down next while Tigerheart warns Pouncekit. He says they should never leave the den without a parent, but she protests that all of the Twoleg traps are gone. He retorts that they could put them back. Pouncekit says that it's not fair, and she's only getting yelled at because she came down first. She adds that coming down first is a good thing and asks why he's not yowling at Shadowkit, who is still in the tree.
- Tigerheart claims he's not yowling at anyone; he's just saying that the kits can't leave the den without him or Dovewing. Horrified, Pouncekit exclaims to Lightkit that they're not allowed to leave the den ever. The tabby kit says that's not fair; Tigerheart's fur prickles with irritation as he wonders if they would've been so argumentative if they'd been raised in a Clan. Shadowkit is still struggling in the tree, so the brown tabby tom climbs up, grabs his scruff, and sets him down on the ground. The dark gray kit announces that he didn't need help, for he was just planning his route down.
- Dovewing begins to usher the kits inside as they protest. Lightkit pleads for them to stay outside, but the smoky queen says they must stay inside until the Twolegs are gone. Whiskers twitching with amusement, the she-cat turns to her mate, purring that at least their kits are adventurous. Relieved, Tigerheart says they'll make great warriors, and Dovewing agrees.
- Tigerheart wonders how long it'll be until they take Pouncekit, Shadowkit, and Lightkit to the Clans. He knows they're getting to big to enjoy the den, but he argues to himself that the city is dangerous. The tom thinks they should be in the forest, learning about prey. He notices Spire sitting nearby, staring at the Twolegs. Instead of following his mate into the den, Tigerheart heads over to the black cat. Noticing the tom's blank gaze, the brown tabby realizes he's having a vision. He decides to sit and guard Spire until the vision is over in case a Twoleg wanders over to him.
- Spire looks at Tigerheart, murmuring that, kits or no kits, he came. The big brown tabby nervously asks what he was dreaming about, and the black tom says he heard a voice from the stars. He adds that the message is for Tigerheart. The tom wonders if StarClan is talking through the skinny tom, and if he should've gone back to ShadowClan after the first vision. All of his worries about his Clan and his kits begin to swirl around him as he again asks Spire what the dream was about.
- Spire says that someone needs Tigerheart; the tabby asks who he means. As if he had not heard him, the skinny black cat adds that the unnamed tom can't keep the fading shadows together. Alarms flares in his pelt as Tigerheart realizes that the voice is Rowanstar's, and he knows his father needs him. The tom thinks that StarClan is definitely trying to reach him in the city, for they want him to go back.
Notes and references
|Tigerheart's Shadow chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Manga|
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