"We may not tunnel anymore, but you must never let the skills that once protected and fed your Clan be forgotten. WindClan must never be afraid to seek out new places to shelter and to hunt. I give you this life for honoring old traditions on behalf of the future."
— Woollytail giving Talltail one of his nine lives and some advice in Tallstar's Revenge, page 498

Woollytail is a gray-and-white tom with bright yellow eyes[3] and wide shoulders.[4]

Woollytail was a tunneler in WindClan under Heatherstar's leadership in the forest territories. He was shown to be very proud of being a tunneler, and even complained to his leader when there was a lack of apprentices training to be tunnelers. After Sandgorse's death, Woollytail became mates with Palebird, and they had four kits: Bristlekit, Flykit, Rabbitkit, and Wrenkit. After his death, Woollytail ascended to StarClan.


In the Super Editions

Tallstar's Revenge

"Don't do this for your father's sake. Sandgorse would never want that. He was tough on you, I know. But tunnelers have to be tough. It doesn't mean he didn't understand. He was proud to see you fight for what you truly wanted, even if that wasn't what he'd hoped for. He'd have been proud to see you as a moor-runner, you know."
—Woollytail giving advice to Tallpaw on his choice to become a tunneler Tallstar's Revenge, page 215
Woollytail is a tunneler and warrior of WindClan serving under the leadership of Heatherstar. Tallkit first talks to Woollytail when he almost accidentally runs into fellow warriors, Cloudrunner and Aspenfall. Woollytail asks Cloudrunner if he caught his rabbit on the high-moor. Kicking away a stale mouse, Cloudrunner meows that Woollytail is correct as usual. This impresses Tallkit, who is still sitting and listening to the older cats speak. The young kit asks Woollytail how he knew where Cloudrunner got his prey, and Woollytail replies that he can smell the sand in the dead animal's fur. He is soon joined by Hickorynose, a fellow tunnelmate, who explains to Tallkit that you can only find sand on the high-moor. Cloudrunner makes a comment about stopping the cave-ins, and Aspenfall says that it's not safe to be there. Woollytail, upon hearing this, narrows his eyes and says it's completely safe if a cat knows what they're doing.
Their conversation is soon cut short, however, by the arrival of WindClan's leader, Heatherstar. She approaches her warriors, and inquires of Woollytail about the condition of the tunnels, and if they'll be ready for the approaching newleaf. Sniffing, Woollytail replies that these things take time to do, and Heatherstar replies that she thinks they'll find a way to get things done. She walks away, flicking her tail, and stops by the fresh-kill pile to sniff at Cloudrunner's rabbit.
Sandgorse, a fellow tunneler, and Tallkit's father, approaches Woollytail and says that he's found sticks to use for their project. Woollytail is overjoyed, saying that they can start taking care of the roof for the tunnel during the afternoon. After a brief digging lesson, Sandgorse and Tallkit go and speak to Woollytail again, and Sandgorse voices his concerns over using just sticks. Woollytail says that it'll have to do for now, until they can get stones to roll into the tunnel. Although Sandgorse appears to be against the direction the tunnel is taking, Woollytail tries to reassure Sandgorse, saying there will be fewer cave-ins, and he doesn't want the progress they made over leafbare to go to waste.
At the apprentice ceremony for Stagkit, Ryekit, and Doekit, Woollytail, Hickorynose, Flailfoot, and the other tunnelers sit and wait for their names and mentors to be announced. Shrewkit remarks that he thinks Woollytail will get to teach one of them, as he had been complaining about the lack of tunnelers, and how WindClan needed more of them. When Heatherstar chooses to make all three kits moor-runners instead of making one or two of them a tunneler, Woollytail is shocked and confused. Plumclaw, another warrior of WindClan, returns soon and asks if Woollytail received his apprentice yet. He replies no, and goes to ask Reedfeather, WindClan's deputy why he wasn't informed the tunnelers would not be receiving a new apprentice. Although unhappy, he doesn't argue with his leader, and Heatherstar dismisses the meeting.
When Tallkit is made an apprentice, Plumclaw says that surely Heatherstar would pick Woollytail to mentor Tallpaw. When Heatherstar chooses Dawnstripe, a moor-runner, to mentor Tallpaw instead, Woollytail, Plumclaw, and Palebird, Tallpaw's mother, and Sandgorse are shocked and appalled, and they confront Heatherstar on her choice. Heatherstar tells Woollytail that she's letting Tallpaw be true to his nature, and Woollytail bites back, asking what kit doesn't like to run and jump.
Woollytail is mentioned as one of the expert tunnelers in WindClan, During a cave-in, Sandgorse mentions that he and Hickorynose are both experienced, and they'll find their way out before too long. They soon meet up with Woollytail and Hickorynose, who are near the river and only have a small amount of digging left to do before they reach the gorge. Their digging adventures come up short, however, as a collapse chases them out of the tunnels, and Woollytail is furious that their work is going to waste, saying that they didn't take into account the easier digging. Sandgorse and Mistmouse eagerly await to when they can start the new tunnel, and Hickorynose asks if he should get Plumclaw, which Woollytail eagerly replies yes.
Back at camp, Heatherstar tries to find cats to attend the Gathering, and explains to Woollytail and the other Tunnelers that she needs both moor-runners and tunnelers to attend. Heatherstar goes on to say that Gatherings aren't for gossip, and it brings harmony between the Clans. Woollytail, upon hearing this, sneers and says the Clans are just using it as an excuse to spy on one another. After his comment, the tunneler goes back to washing himself and getting dirt out from in between his claws. He doesn't seem that interested, and shows even more distaste when the visitors come to stay in WindClan's camp. He sits next to Hickorynose, the two whispering and muttering under their breath to each other.
Woollytail runs into Tallpaw, Dawnstripe, and Reena when he accidentally chases out a rabbit from one of the tunnels. When asked by Reena if Woollytail had been waiting for the rabbit, he replies no, and goes on to explain that he was checking out the tunnels and says that he saw a crumbling roof on his way back to camp, so he stopped to fix it. Not wanting to let prey go to waste since it was right in front of him, he decided to chase after the animal. Tallpaw asks Woollytail who else is down there, and the tunneler replies that his father and Plumclaw are with him and they are making a second gorge tunnel. Dawnstripe, confused, asks Woollytail about the tunnel, wanting to know why there's a second one when one should be enough.
The tunneler explains that they need a second one, and tells Tallpaw's mentor that the first one flooded. This prompts a reply from Dawnstripe, who interrogates Tallpaw, wanting to know what happened. Shaking the dirt from his pelt, Woollytail tries to reassure Dawnstripe, saying it was a miscalculation. He explains that they dug too far low the first time, and this second tunnel is more secure and at the right level. He also says that come leaf-bare and during the time of snow melt, the river will fill it, and explains the need for where Sandgorse and Plumclaw are working. Dawnstripe thinks it's too dangerous, but Reena, one of the rogues, thinks the idea is interesting, and proceeds to ask Woollytail questions about it. Dawnstripe then asks Woollytail if Heatherstar knew about the flood in the tunnels, and he replies that she did not. This angers Dawnstripe and she and Woollytail go back to camp to tell Heatherstar of the incident, with Reena in tow, and sending Tallpaw with Hareflight and Shrewpaw.
After the events that kill Sandgorse transpire, Woollytail is the cat to save Tallpaw when the young apprentice tries to save his father. He is woken up by Dawnstripe, who explains to Tallpaw that he's safe, and Woollytail was the cat to pull him out. Streaked with mud, Woollytail tells Tallpaw that he needs to see Hawkheart to get his wounds and cuts cleaned out, as underground mud can be bad for a cat and the wounds would infect very easily. After the events, Tallpaw decides to train as a tunneler and this news delights Woollytail and the others, although Woollytail does tell Tallpaw not to become one of them for his father's sake, and that Sandgorse would have been proud to see him as a moor-runner.
Woollytail does not get the chance to train Tallpaw in the ways of tunneling, however. The accident that killed Sandgorse is the last straw for Heatherstar, and she chooses to ban tunneling from WindClan for good. This greatly upsets Woollytail, and he asks Heatherstar what will happen to their tunneling skills. Cloudrunner, one of the other warriors, says that their days of hiding are over, and a disbelieving Woollytail can only stare.
When Reena, Bess, Algernon, and the other cats decide it is time to leave WindClan, Woollytail stands side by side with Mistmouse, Plumclaw, and Hickorynose. Heatherstar says the next time they arrive, they will no longer be a Clan divided, but join as one. After they leave, Woollytail stays next to Palebird, often brushing pelts with her, never seeming to leave her alone for very long.
Woollytail spends a lot of time with Palebird, and Tallpaw notices this. The reason soon becomes evident, and Palebird tells Tallpaw that he will be a brother, revealing that she is expecting the gray-and-white warrior's kits. Tallpaw asks about Sandgorse, and Woollytail replies that he would have wanted Palebird to be happy. He tells Tallpaw that Palebird hasn't been this happy for a very long time, and Tallpaw will still be her very first kit. His eyes beg Tallpaw for understanding, and Palebird's son accepts it and walks away. He stands next to Palebird while Tallpaw receives his warrior name, Talltail.
Soon, Palebird gives birth to Woollytail's first kits. Talltail is concerned at first, but Woollytail reassures him that his mother is fine, and invites Talltail to visit his new brothers and sisters. Although shocked at having four kits, Woollytail reassures his mate that she'll be an amazing mother, just as she was with Talltail. Woollytail also mentions that they haven't named them yet, due to Palebird being so exhausted. Talltail shows distaste in Palebird's choice to move on, wondering why he and Sandgorse couldn't make Palebird happy. When Talltail decides to leave WindClan, Woollytail calls him a mousebrain, saying that WindClan is his home, and he tries to get him to stay.
Woollytail bursts through Hawkheart's medicine den when ShadowClan decides to place their scent markers on brambles at Fourtrees. Lifting his head, he addresses his leader and says ShadowClan have drenched the area in their scent markings, with Larksplash saying it was intentional.
Palebird and Woollytail have named their four kits Flykit, Rabbitkit, Bristlekit, and Wrenkit, and the four kits are often with their parents. When Palebird returns with prey, Woollytail asks his mate if she'd brought him any. Jokingly, she calls him an old badger and tells him to get his own prey, although he doesn't appear to be moving from his nest to get food for himself, although he does get up for the apprentice ceremonies of Sorrelkit, Hopkit, and Pigeonkit.
Woollytail dies sometime after is in StarClan for Talltail's leadership ceremony. After the appearance of Heatherstar, the next cat to greet Talltail is Woollytail, and the two purr happily at being able to see each other again. Woollytail brings great advice to Talltail, and gives him a life for honoring the old traditions that create the foundation for future WindClan cats.

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Official art

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Woollytail: "Did you catch that on the high-moor?"
Cloudrunner: "Yes. You're right as usual, Woollytail."
Tallkit: "How did you know?"
Woollytail: "I can smell the sand in its fur."
Hickorynose: "You only find sand tunnels on the high-moor. Not like the gorge tunnel. That's all soil and grit. But it'll open the way to find fresh prey by the river."
Cloudrunner: "If you ever find a way to stop the cave-ins."
Aspenfall: "The grit makes it unstable. It's not safe to tunnel there."
Woollytail: "It is if you know what you're doing."
—Woollytail and the others arguing over the safety of the tunnels Tallstar's Revenge, pages 10-11

"Woollytail's been complaining for ages that WindClan needs more tunnelers."
—Shrewkit on Woollytail's opinion on the lack of tunnelers Tallstar's Revenge, page 26

Woollytail: "Why didn't you warn us we weren't getting an apprentice?"
Reedfeather: "Would you have accepted it any more easily if we had?"
Plumclaw: "We would have known you still respected us!"
Heatherstar: "Of course WindClan respects its tunnelers. When leaf-bare brings us endless moons of snow, our tunnelers always bring us prey. We value your skills and we want to help you keep them alive through future moons."
Woollytail: "How, when you give us no apprentices to train?"
—Woollytail confronting Heatherstar and Reedfeather on the lack of tunneling apprentices Tallstar's Revenge, page 30

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"True to his nature? What kit doesn't run and jump?"
—Woollytail not happy with Heatherstar's reasonings on making Tallpaw a moor-runner Tallstar's Revenge, page 53

Reena: "Why do you tunnel at all?"
Woollytail: "WindClan cats have always tunneled."
Reena: "And there are cats underground right now?"
Woollytail: "Of course."
—Woollytail speaking to Reena about the tunnels Tallstar's Revenge, page 151

Tallpaw: "But what about Sandgorse? You were his friend. How can you—"
Woollytail: "Sandgorse would be pleased. He wouldn't want to see Palebird grieving for the rest of her life. You should be pleased for your mother. She hasn't been this happy for a long time. You'll still be her first kit. Did you really think you'd be her last?"
—Woollytail and Tallpaw on Palebird's news Tallstar's Revenge, page 253

"Sandgorse and I couldn't make you happy. But Woollytail can."
—Tallpaw's thoughts on Woollytail Tallstar's Revenge, page 253

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 498
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, allegiances
  3. Revealed in Redtail's Debt, allegiances
  4. Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 15
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