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Sheep
Sheep
Friendly
Current: Neutral
Past: N/A
Creature Type
Creature: Sheep
Species: Ovis aries
Book Appearances
Living: The Sun Trail, Moth Flight's Vision, Tallstar's Revenge, Midnight, The Rescue, Dawn, Outcast, Sunrise

Sheep are creatures with fluffy wool, which are usually seen enclosed in a Twoleg fence.[1] They look like fluffy white clouds dotted across a green field. They are harmless to cats,[1] but may accidentally cause serious damage to a cat.


Description

Sheep generally can have many different appearances, and there are many different kinds of sheep. However, the sheep most commonly seen by the Clan cats, are Ovis aries, otherwise known as farm/domestic sheep. A male domestic sheep can range from 120 to 180 cm (47.24 to 70.87 in), and their mass can vary from 20 kg to a whopping 200 kg(44 to 440 lbs). However, the average male sheep is 110 kg(242) lbs). Females are usually three-quarters or two-thirds of the the male sheep's mass and length.[2] Mature sheep have 33 teeth, just like mature humans; however, the teeth of a domestic sheep are flatter and are used for the grinding of vegetation.[3] The average life cycle of a sheep consists of 10 to 12 years, though some can live longer.[4]
These sheep can have wool, or not have wool, though the Clan cats only see sheep with wool. The sheep can also have horns, or no horns, and can have external ears or not.[5] Their colors can vary from milky white to light brown to black or even spotted.[6] Their eye slits are horizontal, and they have excellent peripheral vision: 270° to 320°.[7] However, they lack a good sense of depth perception, making them shy away from shadows and dark areas.[8]
Domestic sheep also have larger tails compared to other wild sheep; this is due to them keeping a fat reserve. On farms, these tails are sometimes cut off by Twolegs. Domestic sheep also have a vertical cleft and narrow snout. The whole genus of Ovis is characterized by glands in several places, some of them in between bones, the groin area, and between the toes. These glands give domesticated sheep their smell. They are also different from wild sheep in the characteristics of the skull. The sizes of the eye socket and brain case are considerably reduced from those of wild sheep.[9]

Relations to Clan Cats

Sheep are not aggressive towards Clan cats; they simply ignore them and continue grazing.[10] The cats think they are too close for comfort, and they slip past them with their head low, in order to avoid them.[11] The Clan cats know they are not dangerous, but are still anxious at getting past them as quickly as they can.[12] WindClan cats frequently see them as they are close to Twolegs taking care of them on the moor.[13] They have more experience with the sheep than the the other Clans.[14] They also sometimes take sheep wool to line their nests, as it is very comfortable to lay on.[15]

Book Mentions

In the Super Editions Arc

Moth Flight's Vision

When Moth Flight, Willow Tail, and Spotted Fur return to the WindClan camp with Slate's kits, Willow Tail goes through the branches of some heather to where an old sheep trail cut through the bushes.
When Moth Flight is at the farm, she sees sheep grazing, eyes blank, and clumped in small groups. Moth Flight goes to drink water out of a puddle, but hears hooves pattering across the grass and sees sheep moving toward her. She is unsure of them and backs away, and the sheep amble aimlessly, attention fixed on the grass, buffeting each other clumsily. Moth Flight thinks that such dumb animals might trample her without even noticing, and heads around them to keep a safe distances, her nose twitching at their warm, sour smell. Moth Flight spots a mouse and begins to stalk it, and she hopes that the pattering of the sheep's hooves a few tail-lengths away will disguise any noise that she makes. However, she is interrupted by the moth, and when it flits past a group of sheep, Moth Flight veers around them. However, a dog comes, yapping, and the sheep begin to run, panicked. They close into a flock and head for Moth Flight, but suddenly the flock opens and the sheep scatter when the dog surges among them. Moth Flight is saved from the dog by Micah, and she stiffens when he veers suddenly and plunges between the legs of the startled sheep while he is chased by the dog. The sheep bleat with surprise, and scatter as the dog races after Micah, knocking them aside if they aren't quick enough to get out of the way.
When Moth Flight and Micah decide to go to the Gathering, Moth Flight guesses that Wind Runner must be leading her Clan along the old sheep track that goes through the heather, and she follows the path. Micah and Moth Flight run in single file as heather rises around them and the sheep track narrows.
Later, when Cow visits ShadowClan, she mentions to Pebble Heart that Moth Flight has smartened a lot, since she had once tried to cross a field while the farm dog was herding sheep.

In the Dawn of the Clans Arc

The Sun Trail

The cats traveling from the mountains come across a heard of sheep In a pen, and one sheep bleats and Gray Wing and the rest of the cats jump back in surprise.
Later, they decide to settle down in a barn full of mice when halfway through the night a herd of sheep stampede into the barn.

In the New Prophecy Arc

Midnight

The questing cats from all four Clans on the Great Journey see sheep in a field enclosed by a Twoleg fence. They find that the sheep are not aggressive; they ignore the cats, although the warriors still try to stay away from the sheep. As they pass them, the sheep stare at them, and the cats slip past with their heads low, uncomfortable at being out in the open with the new creatures. Feathertail swerves to avoid them, as they are too close for her comfort.

Dawn

When Whitepaw and Spiderpaw are pestering Brambleclaw about his journey to the sun-drown place, he mentions sheep. He describes them as fluffy white and looking like clouds with legs. He also tells the apprentices that the sheep are harmless but Twolegs use dogs to control them.
During the journey, Leafpaw describes how field after field is dotted with sheep looking exactly like clouds.

In the Power of Three Arc

Outcast

The cats who are leaving the lake to help the Tribe of Rushing Water see the sheep as they continue their journey. Breezepaw notices the sheep and announces to the cats that there must be a Twoleg farm nearby. Hollypaw retorts that they've seen sheep before. When Breezepaw remarks that they won't hurt them, Hollypaw bites back another retort.

Sunrise

The ThunderClan cats sent to find Sol, a rogue, journey past the sheep field, and Birchfall finds some sheep wool snagged on a bush. He takes it with him back to the camp to give to his mate, Whitewing, as it is very soft and good for a nursery nest. Purdy seems suspicious of the sheep, and asks what they are. Hollyleaf tells him that they are sheep, and that they are harmless. Hollyleaf asks Purdy if he had ever seen sheep before when passing farms, and Purdy says that he hadn't. When the sheep come to crop grass near them, Purdy wants to run away, but Hollyleaf tells him that they won't hurt the cats.

In the SkyClan and the Stranger Arc

The Rescue

Although sheep do not formally appear in The Rescue, when Leafstar's kits are born, Shrewtooth brings her sheep's wool to keep her kits warm.

References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 157
  2. Information retrieved from animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu
  3. Information retrieved from vivo.colostate.edu
  4. Information retrieved from sheep101.info
  5. Information retrieved from animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu
  6. Information retrieved from rmncsba.org
  7. Information retrieved from sheepusa.org
  8. Information retrieved from en.wikipedia.org
  9. Information retrieved from animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu
  10. Revealed in Midnight, page 164
  11. Revealed in Midnight, page 165
  12. Revealed in Dawn, page 268
  13. Revealed in Outcast, page 175
  14. Revealed in Outcast, page 176
  15. Revealed in Sunrise, page 182

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