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"Somewhere, far beyond the Thunderpath, Dovewing, his mate, was managing alone. He was going to find her and, in another moon, welcome his kits to their new home in the gorse-spined den."
— Narrator in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 83

Below contains in-depth information for chapter nine of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 9 (of 35)
Page Numbers: 80-83

Chapter description

Tigerheart shifts in his nest, thinking of Scorchfur and Snowbird, and how they said they'd only follow him. He hears Stonewing and Grassheart shift beside him; Grassheart breathing lightly in her sleep. He tries to sleep by curling up deeper into his nest, but is troubled. Tigerheart wonders what to do, and thinks of Dovewing and his unborn kits, Rowanstar trying to earn his Clanmates' respect. He sits up, asking StarClan to guide him. The dark tabby gazes at the roof of the warriors' den, and wonders if StarClan can see what is happening. He questions himself silently, then remembers his dream. He decides to ask Puddleshine about it.
Puddleshine is asleep in his den. Tigerheart approaches quietly and calls the medicine cat's name softly. Puddleshine wakes up sharply, puffing up his fur and narrowing his eyes. Tigerheart wonders why he is so scared. The deputy soothes his Clanmate, and Puddleshine blinks. The splotched tom's spine relaxes, but his pelt stays ruffled as he jumps from his nest. He mumbles an apology, informing Tigerheart that he'd dreamed of a cat looming over him, and how he'd stood over the medicine cat. His voice trails off, and he stiffens. Puddleshine tells Tigerheart that he is the cat he'd been dreaming of.
Alarm jabs the deputy's chest, wondering if StarClan had sent a sign after all. Puddleshine goes on about his dream of Tigerheart, and describes the sky in his dream as blue, but he felt cold. He even mentions how the sun had been shining as well, but he hadn't felt its warmth. Tigerheart echoes his words, feeling his mouth go dry. Mentally, he tells himself that it is another dream of a sun. The dark brown tabby demands to know what he was doing, and Puddleshine says that the tabby was standing over him, dark and huge, with sun streaming around him.
Tigerheart stares at Puddleshine, his thoughts moving to his own dream. The deputy thinks that his shadow was darker than any other, and he understands now what it means. Tigerheart knows that he isn't the sun, but is blocking it, but then wonders if Rowanstar had faded in his dream. He chokes out that he can't stay, and regret slices through his mind, through all his thoughts. Dovewing had left him for nothing, and now he had wasted so much time.
His Clanmate protests, leaning toward him. Puddleshine asks him about his shadow, and if it was what ShadowClan needed, as his was the strongest. But Tigerheart barely hears him, as his thoughts spin in his head, faster and faster. Seemingly panicking, he asks himself how he could manage to support Rowanstar, and lead ShadowClan at the same time; as he shouldn't be in the camp. He tells himself that he should be with Dovewing, because it is only getting harder and harder for his father, Rowanstar, to lead the Clan with him there.
Puddleshine repeats Tigerheart's name, informing the tabby that his Clan needed him. He blinks at the splotched tom, and tells Puddleshine not to worry. Dipping his head, he thanks him for his help. As Tigerheart turns to leave the medicine den, Puddleshine calls to him, and questions where he's going now. He tells Puddleshine that he is going to sleep, knowing it is true. The tabby tom hadn't slept well for days, but also notes that he wasn't going to sleep now. He orders Puddleshine back to his nest, and hurries to cover from the rain.
Scanning the camp clearing, he finds that there is no sign of any movement. He can only pick up the scent of sleeping cats, curled in damp nests. Next, Tigerheart checks Puddleshine's nest, relieved that the medicine cat hasn't followed him. He hears the nest shifting, and pricks his ears, but it is only Puddleshine preparing to sleep. Tigerheart bids his farewell to his resting Clan, dipping his head, and then creeps to the tunnel.
Quietly, he pads out into the woods, and makes sure to be clear of the camp. Checking that the pounding rain will hide the sound of his paw steps, Tigerheart breaks into a run. He silently tells Dovewing that he is coming, and then notices how, for the first time in a while, his heart is light. Harmony chimes in his thoughts as he races for the Thunderpath, like a bird flying towards warmer land. He is certain that he must make this journey, although Tigerheart does not know what it holds for him, and making it feels natural for him. Somewhere far beyond this Thunderpath, Dovewing, his mate, is alone, and managing. Tigerheart is determined to find her, and his new life at the gorse-spined den.

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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Revealed in Tigerheart's Shadow, chapter 9