"...He wondered if his Twoleg housefolk still lived there. They'd been kind to him. He had spent his first leaf-bare cosseted in their nest, warm and safe from the cruelties of Thunderpaths and greencough. "
It was revealed that Firestar's Twolegs got a new kittypet named Hattie. She says that her owners had dug up an old bush, and replaced it with some trees great for scratching.
Hattie and Firestar begin talking, but the tom spots his former owners walking down a path. They have a young kit with them, which clings to its mother with one paw. Firestar darts into the forest, and wonders if the Twolegs would recognize him after so long. He later realizes that Hattie is a good fit for his former owners, and is much better suited to kittypet life.
While in his bed, Rusty smells the odor of his food. He reflects on how his owners would fill his dish every day before they went to sleep. Rusty decides to go to the woods, and he jumps onto the fence out of his housefolk den. His owners call him back, and usually, Rusty responds to them. He recalls that they would caress him with words and cuddles, letting him onto their bed. However, this time, Rusty ignores them.
Rusty goes into the forest, and he is met by three cats, Graypaw, Bluestar, and Lionheart, who offer them to live with them. Rusty is hesitant to leave his Twolegs and live in the forest, but he eventually decides to do so. The next morning, Rusty sees that his bowl had been rinsed and filled with fresh water. Licking at it thirstily, the tom wonders if he really can abandon this comfortable life. He talks to his friend Smudge, and tells him about the wild cats' offer. Smudge begs him not to go, and Rusty reassures him by saying his Twolegs will get another cat.
When Rusty joins ThunderClan and takes the name of Firepaw, he is constantly ridiculed by some cats such as Tigerclaw, Longtail, and Darkstripe for the fact that he had been raised by Twolegs.
Prior to battling Yellowfang, she tells Firepaw that he is dithering like a kittypet. Firepaw halts, wondering if she can smell his Twolegs on him, after living with his Clan so long.
When Fireheart and Graystripe bring WindClan home, the two warriors try to convince the Clan to shelter in an abandoned Twoleg nest. A WindClanapprentice says it's no wonder the ginger tom wants them to stay there as he was once a kittypet. Days later, Fireheart reunites with Princess in the forest. The she-cat questions who he is, and he replies that he's her brother, Rusty, but he doesn't live with his Twolegs anymore.
During Cinderpaw's first assessment, the apprentice asks Fireheart if he was really born in the Twolegplace. The question takes him off guard, but he replies that he was once a kittypet, but is a warrior now. Her mentor says that his old life with Twolegs wasn't bad, but he's glad it's over. Cinderpaw dashes, off, and the ginger tom stands alone, thinking about if what he told the gray she-cat is completely true.
Later, Fireheart fetches catmint from the Twolegplace for Yellowfang. The tom tells her that he knows where some is, since he remembers rolling in some at his old kittypet home. Fireheart races through Tallpines, and scrambles onto the fence of his Twolegs' garden. Memories flood the ginger tom's mind, and he is reminded of sunny afternoons playing with toys. Fireheart almost expects them to rattle for dinnertime, calling his kittypet name. The tom shakes these thoughts away, and gathers some catmint before returning to camp. Fireheart thinks that he'd never be happy in a Twoleg nest, and recalls wishing to be a forest cat as a kit. He returns to camp with the catmint, but the medicine is unable to help every cat in time, and Fireheart sits with Bluestar as she loses a life. The leader later dismisses him, and he pads outside. Fireheart stares at the snow outside in amazement, as he'd never seen any before. The tom is reminded that his Twoleg owners kept him shut inside whenever it was cold out.
Fireheart goes to the Twolegplace once more to fetch catmint. He hops onto a fence, and peers into his old Twolegs' garden. The warrior gathers as many sprigs as he can, and begins to back away. Fireheart stares at the swinging flap he used as a kit, and wonders if his owners still live there. He thinks that they were kind to him, and his first leaf-bare was spent cozily in their nest.