Diseases and Conditions
Whitecough and greencough are the most common chest infections known to the Clan cats. Whitecough is the milder form, but if untreated, it can develop into the much more severe greencough. Cats usually catch it during leaf-fall and leaf-bare, and sometimes it develops into large-scale epidemics. It can be fatal for elders and kits, and it has claimed the lives of several cats. It spreads quickly and is highly contagious.
In Moonrise, Mothwing mentions blackcough as a form of chest infection; however, no cat in the series is known to have contracted blackcough. Blackcough symptoms are such as expelling blood, high fever, and coughing.
Poisoning is the ingestion of a substance that causes harm to the body, such as:
- Eating or drinking poisonous substances or plants such as deathberries. Kits are the ones who usually fall victim to this, being curious and unaware of the danger.
- Eating poisoned or rotten prey or drinking tainted water.
- Inhaling too much smoke from a fire.
- Being bitten by a venomous animal such as a snake.
If only a small quantity of poison is ingested, the cat usually just receives a bellyache, but larger amounts can cause death. Medicine cats treat these bellyaches with yarrow or nettle leaves, while mild bellyaches can be treated with juniper or watermint. If a cat has been severely poisoned (as in eating deathberries, as Sorrelkit does in The Darkest Hour) he/she may become unconscious for a length of time.
The cats sometimes fall victims to infections carried by rats. One of these infections is called Carrionplace Disease. The first ShadowClan medicine cat, Pebbleheart, realized that rats were a source of disease. As ShadowClan cats sometimes ate the rats from the Carrionplace in The Forest, they were prone to catch these diseases. This happens in Rising Storm, when two ShadowClan cats, Littlecloud and Whitethroat, come to ThunderClan for help because their Clan is in chaos from the deadly and contagious disease. Yellowfang sends them away because she doesn't want ThunderClan to become infected, but Cinderpelt wants to help them and comes up with a cure. Nightstar dies from Carrionplace disease during this time, which is why the Clan was in chaos (they thought it had ripped all nine lives from him when in fact he only had one life because Brokenstar was still alive). Burdock root is used to stop infection from rat bites.
Loss of Sensory Perception
A cat may lose his or her eyesight or hearing due to old age as One-eye of ThunderClan did before her death or from accidents and infections, or birth defects. These conditions usually end their career as a warrior, as they cannot hunt or fight efficiently, and must retire as elders. Kits born with defects usually die young, unless they have special skills compensating it, like in Jayfeather's case. Kits that are white with blue eyes have a higher chance of being born deaf, like Snowkit.
A condition usually associated with elders, the joints gradually degenerating with age, causing pain and difficulty to move. Damp environments can cause the appearance of this condition, so apprentices must make sure that the moss they gather for bedding is completely dry. It is usually treated using daisy or ragwort poultices.[source?]
A toothache is caused by a cracked tooth, cavities, or an infection in the mouth. Alder bark is used to soothe the pain.
Fever is an abnormally high temperature of the body. It is not a disease in itself, but it usually signs the presence of an infection, such as greencough or an infected wound. If needed, it can be treated with feverfew, borage or lavender.
Chills are mostly associated with cold weather or being submerged in cold water for a long period of time. Although this condition is mild and is not a disease, it has claimed the lives of Mosskit and Hollykit. Kits and elders are more at risk of dying when they get a chill. Licking a cat's fur the wrong way gets the blood flowing again. A poultice of lavender, catmint and feverfew is also a good remedy.
Wounds are injuries when the skin and the muscles beneath are torn, cut, or punctured. They may put a cat's life in danger due to blood loss, infections, or the damage of the organs. Wounds are the most common injuries, due to the cats always fighting enemy Clans, badgers, or foxes.
Minor wounds heal on their own in no time, but severe wounds must be treated by a medicine cat. This treatment includes cleaning it thoroughly with the tongue, stopping the bleeding by pressing cobwebs on it, and applying poultices to prevent infection and help it to heal. Herbs used in the poultices include goldenrod, marigold, burdock root or (in the case of rat bites) wild garlic. If the wound becomes infected, chervil or horsetail is used as well. The pain can be eased with poppy seeds or willow bark.
Sprains are injuries to ligaments of a joint, caused by being stretched beyond their normal capacity and possibly torn. It causes severe pain and decreased ability to move the joint. The cat must rest for several days.
Joint dislocation is the displacement of a bone from its normal joint. Medicine cats treat this condition by first feeding the patient poppy seeds to make them sleepy so they don't feel it as much, and then forcing the limb back into the joint.
The paw pads may crack while walking long distances on hard surfaces, or due to cold weather. Elders are especially prone to this condition. It is treated with a poultice of coltsfoot or yarrow. Dock leaf poultices are also used to cool cracked pads.
A broken bone is usually the result of an accident, such as falling down from a high place, or being hit by a monster. Cats most often break their legs, and while medicine cats try to bind the bone with cobwebs, the injury usually results in the cat remaining crippled for the rest of his or her life. The only cat known to fully recover after breaking a leg was Cinderheart. A more severe injury is when a cat breaks his or her backbone. This results in the cat being unable to feel or move parts of his or her body. If the break is bad enough the cat will be killed on or shortly after impact. Briarlight broke her backbone, and as a result, her back legs no longer function. Wildfur also broke his backbone, and since he only sat in his nest all day, he got fluid in his lungs and eventually died from not exercising.
Chest infections mentioned in the Warriors books come in three stages; whitecough, greencough and blackcough. Little is known about blackcough; the black may be blood.
- In Fire and Ice, two of Brindleface's kits die and Bluestar loses a life to greencough.
- In A Dangerous Path, Crookedstar loses his last life to greencough.
- In Sunset, Heavystep supposedly dies from greencough.
- Between Sunset and The Sight, Molepaw and Boulder die from greencough.
- In The Sight, Brackenfur and Birchfall are treated for whitecough and later there is a greencough outbreak in all four Clans.
- One of the largest epidemics known in the book series is in Long Shadows, where lots of ThunderClan cats, including Firestar himself, fell ill with greencough. It starts with Millie and Briarkit before quickly spiraling out of control, giving signs as to just how fast the sickness can spread. The sick cats are isolated at the Abandoned Twoleg Nest to avoid getting the healthy cats catch the disease. No single-lifed cat dies, although Firestar loses a life.
- In Code of the Clans, it mentions Snowstar, Brightwhisker and Poppydawn dying from greencough.
- In Secrets of the Clans, it mentions Lizardstripe dying from greencough.
- Bluestar's Prophecy and Secrets of the Clans both reveal Featherwhisker dying from greencough.
- In Crookedstar's Promise, Willowbreeze, Willowkit, and Minnowkit all die from greencough.
- In Bluestar's Prophecy, Rosepaw, Sweetpaw, and Bluefur all share a bad mouse and get sick. Sweetpaw dies from this, but Bluefur and Rosepaw survive. Earlier, when Bluekit and Snowkit are in Goosefeather's den, he mentions that Smallear was bitten by an adder, but he would survive.
- In Forest of Secrets, Cloudkit attempts to eat deathberries and receives a stern lecture from Cinderpaw. Yellowfang kills her son Brokentail by feeding him deathberries.
- In Rising Storm, Halftail, Patchpelt, and Yellowfang die after inhaling too much smoke from the fire.
- In The Darkest Hour, Darkstripe feeds Sorrelkit deathberries, and she almost dies, but later recovers.
- In Moonrise, several WindClan cats and Dappletail of ThunderClan die after eating rabbits poisoned by Twolegs.
- In Starlight, Mothwing accidentally brings back tainted water to the elders, and they all get a bellyache.
- In Twilight, Dawnflower's kits and some RiverClan cats ingest a foul-smelling liquid that later causes Tumblekit's and Ivytail's deaths.
- In Sunrise, Honeyfern dies after a snake bites her.
- In Cats of the Clans, it is mentioned that Adderkit died after an adder had bitten him.
- In The Forgotten Warrior, Mousewhisker and Cherrypaw almost die from consuming water hemlock, thinking it was parsley.
- In Rising Storm, Nightstar, Cinderfur and other ShadowClan cats die from eating rats from the Carrionplace.
- In Midnight, Tawnypelt gets an infected wound after a fight with rats.
- Secrets of the Clans mentions Pebbleheart dying from a rat-borne infection.
- In Into the Wild, Bluestar loses a life by being bitten in a rat attack.
- In Bluestar's Prophecy and Crookedstar's Promise, Hailstar dies from being bitten by a rat.
- In Firestar's Quest, Firestar loses a life and Rainfur dies during a fight with rats.
- In Yellowfang's Secret, Raggedstar's previous deputy, Foxheart was killed by rats in a battle against the rats at the Carrionplace.
Loss of Sensory Perception
- In Bluestar's Prophecy, Whitepaw is blinded in one eye after a fight with a badger.
- In Into the Wild, One-eye is described as being virtually blind and deaf due to old age.
- In Fire and Ice, Brokenstar is blinded by Yellowfang as punishment for his deeds.
- In A Dangerous Path, Snowkit is revealed to be deaf. Although his mother tries to train him to be a warrior, he is taken away by a hawk. Dappletail tells about her own first litter; one of her kits was born deaf, and later it disappeared, thought to be taken by a fox.
- In Firestar's Quest, Longtail is blinded after a rabbit scratches his eyes.
- In The Sight, Jaykit is revealed to be blind.
- In Dark River, Rock is mentioned to be blind because of old age.
- In Forest of Secrets, Smallear's joints are stiff, and Yellowfang says they are the worst case she has seen in moons.
- In Midnight, Speckletail complains of aching joints due to damp weather.
- In The Sight, Mousefur complains of aching joints due to a cold draft.[source?]
- In The Forgotten Warrior, Sorreltail has stiffness in her hip joints.
- In Forest of Secrets, One-eye has cracked pads from the cold.
- In Firestar's Quest, Firestar and Sandstorm get sore pads after walking on rocks.
- In Sunset, Goldenflower complains of cracked pads.
- In Sunrise, Purdy gets cracked pads from cold weather.
- In The Darkest Hour, Tigerstar loses all of his nine lives due to a single wound.
- In Eclipse, Squirrelflight gets a belly wound during the great battle.
- It is mentioned that Halftail's tail was bitten off by a badger some time before Into the Wild.
- In Moonrise, Mousefur gets a dislocated shoulder after fighting Twolegs.
- In Twilight, Rainwhisker's shoulder is dislocated in the fight with the badgers.
- In SkyClan's Destiny, Sagepaw has a dislocated leg after falling off the highest cliff.
- In Fire and Ice, Cinderpaw (Cinderpelt) breaks a leg after being hit by a monster.
- In Dark River, Cinderpaw (Cinderheart) breaks the same leg after falling from a tree, but later recovers.
- In Fading Echoes, Briarlight's backbone is broken after being crushed by a falling tree, but she survives.
- In Fading Echoes, Littlecloud mentions a ShadowClan cat, Wildfur, who also broke his backbone; however, he did not survive, as he got a chest infection.
- In Battles of the Clans and Cloudstar's Journey, Mousefang breaks her leg while fighting Amberclaw from jumping out of a tree.
- Whitecough and greencough are like a cough and pneumonia, respectively.
- Greencough's original name was blackcough. The name was changed before publishing Into the Wild, as it was thought that the new name reflected the disease better. Vicky stated that the mention of blackcough by Mothwing was an oversight on their part.
References and Citations
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 130
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 166-168
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 134-136
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 24
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 144
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 163
- ↑ Such as Minnowkit and her siblings in Twilight, Revealed on page 172
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 250
- ↑ Revealed in Rising Storm, page 250
- ↑ Revealed in Sunrise, page 214
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 88
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 68
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 134
- ↑ Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 260
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 97
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 95
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 81
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 84
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 135
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, page 201
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 483
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 126
- ↑ revealed in Erin Hunter chat
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, pages 68-69
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 404
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 515
- ↑ Revealed in Eclipse, page 230
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 279
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 131
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Revealed in Eclipse
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 168
- ↑ Revealed in Fading Echoes, pages 173-174
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 227
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 187
- ↑ Revealed in Rising Storm, page 110
- ↑ Revealed in Sunset, page 150
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 7
- ↑ Littlecloud reports that an elder has died of greencough - The Sight, page 323 - and this is assumed to be Boulder as he does not appear in The Sight and all record of him is lost
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 11
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 323
- ↑ Revealed in Long Shadows, page 166
- ↑ Revealed in Long Shadows, page 239
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 86
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 87
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 42
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 71
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page ThunderClan Medicine Cats
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 445 and 447
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 262
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 292
- ↑ Bluefur goes on to become Bluestar, page 497, and Rosepaw receives her warrior name, Rosetail, page 315
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 85
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 294
- ↑ Revealed in Rising Storm, page 280 and 283
- ↑ 56.0 56.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 113
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 95
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 166
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 211
- ↑ Revealed in Starlight, page 171, 196, 249
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, page 172
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, pages 163, 197, 168, 173, and 219
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, page 219
- ↑ Revealed in Sunrise, pages 212-215 and 220
- ↑ Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 46
- ↑ Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 2
- ↑ Revealed in Starlight, page 313
- ↑ Revealed in Midnight, page 249, 268
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 66
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, page 188
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 431
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 463
- ↑ Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 272
- ↑ Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 268
- ↑ Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 82
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 30
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, pages 35-36
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 3
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 160
- ↑ Revealed in Midnight, page 209
- ↑ Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, page 59
- ↑ Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 45
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 241
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 247
- ↑ Revealed in Sunrise, page 234
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 234
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 277
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, page 288
- ↑ Revealed in Sunset, page 22
- ↑ Revealed in SkyClan's Destiny, pages 70-77
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 183
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 103
- ↑ In Eclipse she receives her warrior name, Cinderheart, after training hard to recover from her injury, pages 317-318
- ↑ Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 174
- ↑ At the end of Fading Echoes she is still living and has received her warrior name, Briarlight, page 176
- ↑ Revealed in Cloudstar's Journey, chapter 8
- ↑ Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 3
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook page.