Apprentices are Clan cats six moons or older, training to be a warrior (or sometimes a medicine cat) under a mentor. All apprentices' names end with the suffix "-paw" (i.e., Lionpaw, Breezepaw, Leafpaw) which symbolizes the path their paws are on, until they receive their warrior name. 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). An apprentice becomes a warrior once their mentor or Clan leader thinks they have learned enough.
Apprentices have their own den in the Clan camp where they sleep. 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, or if they have a certain injury, like Cinderpaw.
Tasks of apprentices include training with their mentors, going hunting, border patrol with other cats of their Clan, and looking after the elders, mostly taking ticks out of their pelts. 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.
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, such as searching the elders pelts for ticks, 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. 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.
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. 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.
Warrior apprentices train with their mentor whenever their mentor takes them. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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, 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.
Kit for too long
Apprentice for too long
References and Citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 87
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Midnight, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 108
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 490
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 53
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 241
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 175
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 55
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 49
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 280
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 91
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 99
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 15
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 118
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 271
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 130
- ↑ Revealed in Starlight, page 287
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Revealed in Rising Storm, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Starlight, page 285
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 126
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 199
- ↑ Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, pages 49-50
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 106
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 234
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 169