Leaf Lost in Blizzard takes a look at Graystripe’s parents.
*DISCLAIMER*– I am not an expert by any definition of the word. I have read many books on feline genetics, and I have spent some time researching specifically Graystripe’s. Yeah… I have a lot of free time. —
Hi! I’m Leaf Lost in Blizzard, a new member of BlogClan, and this is my first article. Now, I know the Warriors series doesn’t follow the rules of genetics, and Graystripe’s parents have already been confirmed by the authors to be Willowpelt and Patchpelt. However, Vicky did say that she forgot Willow and Patch were siblings, and besides, don’t you think they’ve had enough mates already? At this point, they’ve become ThunderClan Crowfeathers. So, in light of all this, I have analyzed everything that makes Graystripe the happy, furry rainbow we all know and love.
First off, it is important to note that some of Graystripe’s genes are dominant, meaning only one of his parents needs to carry the gene, and some are recessive, meaning both of his parents would have to carry the gene for it to show in Graystripe.
The next step of piecing together the puzzle of Graystripe’s genetics is to make a list of all the cats who had kits around the time Graystripe was born. Excluding Willowpelt and Patchpelt, here’s the list:
• Nutmeg & Jake
• Wrenflight & Stagleap
• Robinwing & Fuzzypelt
• Brindleface & Redtail
• Newtspeck & unknown
• Willowbreeze & Crookedstar (please, StarClan, not these ones)
Quick recap: Nutmeg and Jake are Princess and Firestar’s parents (Jake also fathered Ruby, Socks, and Scourge), Wrenflight and Stagleap are Ashfoot, Morningflower, and Onestar’s parents, Robinwing and Fuzzypelt are Brindleface, Frostfur, Ravenpaw, and Duspelt’s parents (Robinwing also mothered Longtail), Brindleface and Redtail are Sandstorm’s parents (Brindleface also mothered Ashfur, Ferncloud, and two other kits), Newtspeck is Brownpaw, Wetfoot, and Littlecloud’s mother, and Willowbreeze and Crookedstar are Minnowkit, Willowkit, and Silverstream’s parents.
Now, moving on to Graystripe’s coat genetics:
• Long hair (recessive)
• Black fur (dominant)
• Dilution (recessive)
• Agouti (dominant)
• Ticked pattern (dominant)
Therefore, the genetic “code” for Graystripe’s fur is ll B-dd A- Ta-.
The genes for his gloriously fluffy fur would have been inherited from both of his parents, but, since the longhaired gene is recessive, it wouldn’t necessarily have shown in both his parents. Back to our list of possible parents:
• Neither Nutmeg nor Jake are longhaired, but both carry the gene, since their daughter, Princess, is longhaired.
• Neither Wrenflight nor Stagleap are longhaired. They might carry the gene, but it is unlikely. However, their descendant, Crowfeather, carries one copy of the longhaired gene, but it is unknown from which parent he inherited the gene.
• Fuzzypelt is longhaired. Robinwing is not longhaired, but she carries the gene, since her daughter, Frostfur, is longhaired.
• Redtail is longhaired. Brindleface is not longhaired, but she might carry the gene through her father, Fuzzypelt. However, all three of her known children are short-haired, so she most likely does not.
• Newtspeck is not longhaired, but she carries the gene, since her son, Wetfoot, is longhaired.
• Both Crookedstar and Willowbreeze are longhaired. (StarClan, please don’t do this)
Second, there is the matter of Graystripe’s gray fur. Gray fur is composed of two things: the gene for black fur, and the gene for dilution.
• Neither Nutmeg nor Jake has black fur. Nutmeg’s fur color is diluted, and Jake carries the gene for dilution, since his daughters, Princess and Ruby, have diluted fur colors.
• Neither Wrenflight nor Stagleap have black fur, and neither of them have diluted fur colors. However, both have the gene for dilution, since all their children have diluted fur colors.
• Fuzzypelt has black fur, and Robinwing’s fur color is diluted. Fuzzypelt carries the gene for dilution, since his daughter, Brindleface, has a diluted fur color.
• Neither Redtail nor Brindleface have black fur, but Brindleface has the gene for black fur, and her fur color is diluted. Redtail also carries the gene for dilution, since his daughter, Sandstorm, has a diluted fur color.
• Newtspeck has black and orange fur, but her fur color is not diluted. Since her sons, Wetfoot and Littlecloud, have diluted fur colors, both Newtspeck and her mate must have carried the gene for dilution.
• Both Crookedstar and Willowbreeze have diluted fur colors, and Willowbreeze displays the gene for black fur. (Why, StarClan?)
We can now eliminate Nutmeg and Jake from the list, as well as Wrenflight and Stagleap.
Although Graystripe doesn’t look like it, he has tabby markings. His dark gray stripe is an example of the agouti and ticked tabby genes. Seriously, look up a Somali cat and imagine it with Graystripe’s coloring. Boom, instant personified rainbow.
• Neither Fuzzypelt nor Robinwing display the ticked tabby or the agouti genes.
• Neither Redtail nor Brindleface display the ticked tabby gene, though Brindleface displays the agouti gene.
• Newtspeck does not display the ticked tabby gene, though she displays the agouti gene.
• Neither Crookedstar nor Willowbreeze display the ticked tabby gene, though they both display the agouti gene. (YES!!!)
Just like that, we can eliminate everyone except Newtspeck. Congratulations, Graystripe, you’re half ShadowClan! And forget what I said about the Somali. He’s more of a Maine Coon.
Now, to figure out Graystripe’s father, we need to make a list of everything we know about Graystripe’s father:
• He carries the gene for long hair.
• He carries the gene for dilution.
• He carries the ticked tabby gene.
• He is a ThunderClan tom.
We need a second list as well. A list of all ThunderClan toms that were old enough to father a kit at the time of Graystripe’s birth. For that, we turn to the allegiances of Spottedleaf’s Heart and Into the Wild. Since there is still a small gap in the timeline, we must find the cats on both lists. Within reason, of course – Darkstripe and Runningwind are both of age, and yet neither appeared in the allegiances of Spottedleaf’s Heart. It’s not too far-fetched that cats like Thistleclaw or Featherwhisker could be his father, either. Then again, Featherwhisker is a loyal medicine cat.
• Redtail – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Lionheart – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Tigerstar – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Whitestorm – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Darkstripe (dorkstripe) – Carries the gene for dilution, and possibly for long hair and ticked tabby
• Runningwind- Carries the gene for dilution, and possibly for long hair and ticked tabby
• Halftail – Possibly carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and ticked tabby
• Smallear – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Patchpelt – Carries the gene for dilution, and possibly for long hair and ticked tabby
• Featherwhisker – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Thistleclaw – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
• Fuzzypelt – Carries the gene for long hair, dilution, and possibly ticked tabby
Okay… so that didn’t help at all. The reason why I included the tabbies is because, in their descriptions, they’re simply listed as “tabby”. They could have a long, thick, dark stripe down their back and still have tabby markings, which would be a combination of the ticked tabby and mackerel/classic tabby genes. However, cats with this pattern would still be listed as just tabby, and their stripe would be excluded from their description. Instead, we’ll list the reasons that each cat would or would not have to betray his Clan and mate with Newtspeck.
• Redtail was the Clan deputy, and he already had a loving mate expecting his kit. I see no reason for him to be disloyal.
• Lionheart is one of the most loyal cats in the series. He died in a battle against ShadowClan. I don’t see any reason for Lionheart to be disloyal, either, especially with a ShadowClan cat.
• Tigerstar was just beginning to plot his rise to power. Why would he risk that for a ShadowClan cat?
• Whitestorm was also an extremely loyal warrior, and Bluestar’s only close kin living in ThunderClan at the time. He’d not only be thinking of his Clan, but of Bluestar as well, before anything else.
• Darkstripe (dirtstripe) was never the most loyal of cats. And he also looks somewhat like Graystripe…
• Runningwind was a loyal ThunderClan warrior, but he was never quite satisfied. At least, that’s what I got from the books.
• Halftail had a mate, One-eye, and he seemed to be loyal to her above all. He wouldn’t have strayed.
• Smallear had once been mates with Speckletail, but they broke apart for unknown reasons. Perhaps Newtspeck had something to do with it…
• Patchpelt and Robinwing had an affair which resulted in Longtail’s birth, and afterwards, Robinwing and Fuzzypelt had another litter together. Knowing Patchpelt, he would’ve felt guilty about what had happened, but he may also have felt rejected. He might have tried to seek comfort outside of his Clan, where every cat knew the truth of Longtail’s parentage. Or maybe not.
• Featherwhisker stuck to the medicine cat code. He lived and breathed it. You can’t even find ThunderClan medicine cats that do that anymore.
• Thistleclaw cared deeply about his only kit, Whitestorm, and most likely wanted to protect him at all costs. He wouldn’t have broken the code and shamed Whitestorm in that way. And whatever else Thistleclaw was, he still loved Spottedleaf. I don’t think he’d take another mate as long as she was alive.
• Fuzzypelt already had a mate, and although Robinwing had a kit with Patchpelt, Fuzzypelt and Robinwing had another litter together. Why would Fuzzypelt have given that up to betray his Clan?
After all that confusion, I think we can safely say that there are only four cats who could possibly be Graystripe’s father: Dumbstripe, Runningwind, Smallear, and Patchpelt. To further narrow it down, we need to take apart Wetfoot and Littlecloud’s genetics. Graystripe and Littlecloud are littermates! How cool is that?
• Wetfoot’s genetics:
o Long fur (recessive)
o Black fur (dominant)
o Dilution (recessive)
• Littlecloud’s genetics:
o Short fur (dominant)
o Brown fur (recessive)
o Dilution (recessive)
o Agouti (dominant)
Since Littlecloud’s brown fur is recessive, his father couldn’t have had a dominant fur color, aka black, gray, or red. Out of those four, the only cat that doesn’t have black, gray, or red fur is Runningwind. Therefore, Runningwind is the father of Newtspeck’s kits: Brownpaw, Wetfoot, Littlecloud, and Graystripe.
But that’s just a theory. A WARRIORS THEORY! Or… well, it’s genetic analysis, but I couldn’t resist!
Feel free to tell me if there are any errors in my analysis of Graystripe. Have a great day/night! 😊