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Apprentice

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Apprentices are Clan cats six moons or older, training to be a warrior (or sometimes a medicine cat) under a mentor.[1] All apprentices' names end with the suffix "-paw"[1] (i.e., Lionpaw,[2] Breezepaw,[3] Leafpaw[4]) which symbolizes the path their paws are on, until they receive their warrior name.[5] Most apprentices just have the suffix "-kit" taken off their name and replaced with "-paw", but in special cases, their name completely changes (i.e., Hopkit[6]). An apprentice becomes a warrior once their mentor or Clan leader thinks they have learned enough.




Description

Apprentices have their own den in the Clan camp where they sleep.[7] Once an apprentice earns their warrior name, they are a full warrior and they are able to contribute to warrior duties, and they move in the warriors den. Sometimes apprentices are referred to as 'paws as mentioned in Fading Echoes. Apprentices can change their position as a warrior or medicine cat apprentice if they get permission,[8] or if they have a certain injury, like Cinderpaw.[9]

Tasks

Tasks of apprentices include training with their mentors, going hunting, border patrol with other cats of their Clan,[10] and looking after the elders, mostly taking ticks out of their pelts.[11] They still have fun, as there is an old apprentice trick of telling the kits that tiny drops of rabbit dung are actually tasty berries.[12]

Duties and Rules

Apprentices cannot leave the camp without the permission of their mentor or another warrior, and they cannot eat until the elders and nursing queens eat, unless they have special permission. If an apprentice breaks a rule, they usually have to go through punishments,[13] such as searching the elders pelts for ticks,[14] and if they find any, they must dab some moss with mouse bile on it to get the ticks to drop off. Another punishment is cleaning out old bedding and replacing it with fresh moss. There are other punishments that have been given out, although sometimes it depends on their actions.[13] In some cases, the leader will not allow the misbehaving apprentice to go to the next Gathering. It is noted that apprentices are worked very hard, as once starting, they'll be glad to get some sleep.[15]

Education

A kit is usually apprenticed to a mentor at the age of six moons. Mentors are assigned by the Clan leader after an apprentice ceremony, choosing pairings based on seniority and whether or not the pair will be able to work together.[14] The mentor is responsible for the training of the apprentice. After apprenticed, in the Forest they would've had to make a trip to the Moonstone with their mentor to receive StarClan's blessing, but now that the Clans have moved to the Lake, the tradition died out.[16]

Warrior apprentices train with their mentor whenever their mentor takes them.[10] In the Forest, ThunderClan apprentices would do battle training in the sandy hollow, and by the Lake, in the mossy hollow. As an apprentice, a cat learns fighting moves, hunting, and becomes familiar with the warrior code. An apprentice is usually not mentored from their blood relatives because they usually go soft on their kin. (One known exception of this is when Fireheart received his nephew Cloudpaw as his apprentice.)

After their mentor is satisfied with them and their skills, and after passing their final assessment, the apprentices are made into warriors after a warrior ceremony, and they keep a silent vigil watch overnight.[17]

Assessment

An assessment is a test for an apprentice given by their mentor. When a mentor assesses their apprentice, they watch in secret as their apprentice hunts and judges how well they did.[18] If it is their final test and their mentor deems the assessment a success, then they will become a warrior.

Medicine Cat Apprentices

A medicine cat apprentice sleeps in the medicine cat den with the full medicine cat. Medicine cat apprentices get their full name at the Moonstone/Moonpool.[19] They also stay as an apprentice for as long as their mentor is still a medicine cat, even after they receive their full name, unlike warrior apprentices.[20]

Most medicine cat apprentices take a liking of healing cats almost as soon as they are able to go outside the nursery. Kits or other apprentices can help out with the medicine duties if needed.

Medicine cat apprentices are taught about healing techniques,[21] such as how to care for a sick cat, or what herbs and medicines do. They are usually taught in the medicine cat's den, or outside the camp when they gather herbs. They also learn how to interpret signs from StarClan.

After a medicine cat mentor is satisfied with their apprentice they are given a warrior name in a slightly different ceremony than a regular apprentice's. They are still known as an apprentice until the current medicine cat retires, or joins StarClan.[20]

Special Cases

Kit for too long

Crookedkit - He stayed as a kit several moons longer than normal because of his jaw injury and as punishment for running away from the Clan.[22]

Molepaw and Cherrypaw - Both were apprenticed six moons late due to continuity errors.[23][24]

Apprentice for too long

Swiftpaw, Brightpaw and Thornpaw - They remained apprentices for too long due to Bluestar's decreasing mental health.[25]

Other

Snowfur and Bluefur - They were made warriors despite not having visited the Moonstone, which was customary for all apprentices.[26]

Mothwing - Her mentor, Mudfur, died before she finished her medicine cat training.[27]



See Also

References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
  2. Revealed in The Sight, page 87
  3. Revealed in The Sight, allegiances
  4. Revealed in Midnight, allegiances
  5. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 108
  6. Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 490
  7. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 53
  8. Revealed in The Sight, page 241
  9. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 175
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 55
  11. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 49
  12. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 280
  13. 13.0 13.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 91
  14. 14.0 14.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 99
  15. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 15
  16. Revealed in Outcast, page 118
  17. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 271
  18. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 130
  19. Revealed in Starlight, page 287
  20. 20.0 20.1 Revealed in Rising Storm, allegiances
  21. Revealed in Starlight, page 285
  22. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 126
  23. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 199
  24. Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, pages 49-50
  25. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 106
  26. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 234
  27. Revealed in Dawn, page 169


Hierarchy and Groups in the Warriors World
Clan Hierarchy KitsApprenticesWarriorsDeputiesLeadersQueensEldersMedicine Cats
Ceremonies VigilApprenticeWarriorDeputyLeaderElderMedicine CatName Changing
Tribe Hierarchy To-BesCave-GuardsPrey Hunters‎Kit MothersHealer/Stoneteller
Miscellaneous General Clan InformationGeneral Tribe InformationCat Names
Other Groups LonersRoguesBloodClanCats of the ParkThe Early SettlersClear Sky's GroupTall Shadow's Group

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