When the SkyClancats explore the small territory by a lake, a patrol of Hawkwing, Macgyver, Parsleyseed, Birdwing, and Curlypaw encounter a plump dark tabby tom sitting on a tree stump at the edge of a wood, grooming his pelt. Hawkwing doesn't need to see his collar to recognize a kittypet. The warrior greets then approaches the kittypet and dips his head politely. Hawkwing asks if he lives are there, and the kittypet looks up, mildly surprised. The former notes that they are the second group he has seen that day and that there are plenty of them. Hawkwing is at first excited at hearing about a second group, before realizing that the kittypet probably means he saw another one of the SkyClan patrols. Hawkwing repeats his question, and with a vague wave of his tail the kittypet relies that his nest is a long way away, with his housefolk.
He introduces himself as Max, then questions who they are. Hawkwing proudly states that they are SkyClan, but Max comments that they are a scruffy-looking bunch, looking the patrol up and down. The kittypet licks one forepaw and draws it over his ear, and Hawkwing starts feeling annoyed. Macgyver snaps at the plump tabby that he would also look scruffy if he had to fight for his life, but Max, not offended at all, tells him to keep his fur on. He explains that he knows all about traveling, and stays away from his housefolk all the time. The kittypet riffles his whiskers, but notes that although it drives them crazy, he always gets a good meal when he comes home. Macgyver flashes Hawkwing a glance as if asking if they have to put up with the foolish cat.
Hawkwing begins that they are looking for more cats, but Max asks if there aren't enough of them already. The SkyClan tom tries to hold back his anger and resist clawing the kittypet's ears. Birdwing explains that they are looking for a specific group of cats called ThunderClan, but Max yawns that he has never heard of them, and that there aren't many cats around there, with none living by the lake. Hawkwing acknowledges the kittypet's words with a brief nod and thanks him for his time, and the former returns to his grooming.
When Sandynose and Fallowfern find the rest of SkyClan, they explain how after stopping by Barley's Farm, they came to a lake, where they settled for a while. They met a kittypet, that said his name was Max, and he told them that cats had been living there for a while, which gave Fallowfern and Sandynose hope of catching up to their Clan sooner or later. Once Sandynose is done explaining what happened, he asks where the Clan is going next, and Echosong replies that they first thought the lake where they met Max was the place in her vision, but there were too many Twolegs there.
Max: "My name's Max. Who are you?"
Hawkwing: "We are SkyClan."
Max: "You're a scruffy-looking bunch, if you ask me."
Hawkwing (in thought): "No cat did ask you."
Macgyver: "You would look scruffy too if you'd had to fight for your life and then traveled for days and days looking for a new home."
Max: "Keep your fur on. I know all about traveling. I stay out away from my housefolk all the time. It drives them crazy. But I always get a really good meal when I come home."