Parallel Paths: Firestar and Russetfur by Viperfrost

Art by CascadingSerenity

Viperfrost takes a look at Firestar and Russetfur.

Viperfrost, here! We all know the amazing story of Firestar, A.K.A. Rusty the kittypet, who became a prophesied clan apprentice and saved the forest. It was made even more amazing by the fact that it was the first time ever that a clan accepted a kittypet into its ranks since the age of the Ancients!
Except that it wasn’t. Just a single generation previous, Shadowclan accepted the kittypet Red into its ranks as the apprentice Russetpaw. She became the respected Russetfur, long-standing deputy of Blackstar’s reign. Let’s examine their parallels today, in the next installment of Parallel Paths! (Note: this will be a shorter article than usual, since I’m rather under the weather right now.)
Firestar’s Experience:
1. Origins. Rusty was about six months old, and a kittypet. He led a sheltered life previous to this, hanging out with his kittypet friend Smudge and his sister Princess. Rusty was a dark ginger cat with green eyes.
2. Family Background. Rusty’s father was Jake, who fathered two known litters. Rusty’s half-brother Scourge became leader of Bloodclan. Firestar’s nephew, Cloudtail, struggled with acceptance in his clan because of his parental roots.
3. Proof of a Warrior. Firestar went through a lot of effort to prove himself to Thunderclan, embracing their shared values of courage, honor, and loyalty to the clan. He eventually became a respected warrior, even in death, and was looked up to by the next generations of Thunderclan.
4. Positions of Power. Firestar became the deputy of Bluestar, and then ascended to leadership. He held his leadership position for a very long time.
5. Death. After a very long life, Firestar died during a battle, defending his clan from an unjust attack (by the Dark Forest).

Russetfur’s Experience:
1. Origins. Red was about six months old, and a kittypet. She led a sheltered life previous to this, hanging out with her kittypet friends Pixie and Marmalade, and her father Hal. Red was a dark ginger cat with green eyes.
2. Family Background. Red’s father was Hal, who fathered two known litters. Red’s half-brother Raggedstar became leader of Shadowclan. Russetfur’s half-nephew, Brokenstar, struggled with acceptance in his clan because of his parental roots.
3. Proof of a Warrior. Russetfur went through a lot of effort to prove herself to Shadowclan, embracing their shared values of pride, stealth, and strength in battle. She eventually became a respected warrior, even in death, and was looked up to by the next generations of Shadowclan.
4. Positions of Power. Russetfur became the deputy of Blackstar, but died before ascending leadership because of Blackstar’s incredible longevity. She held her leadership position for a very long time.
5. Death. After a very long life, Russetfur died during a battle, defending her clan from an unjust attack (by Thunderclan over that ridiculous patch of grass).

Those are the similarities. Clearly, there are also differences. Firestar matured into a noble, kind cat, while Russetfur matured into that strong, snarky cat we all admire. Firestar started a family with Sandstorm and indirectly made it so that 90% of the clan is related to him, while Russetfur never took a mate and never had kits. They also acclimated in different ways; while Firestar owned his kittypet roots and used his deputyship and leadership to convince the others of the value of non-clan cats, Russetfur fully became a Shadowclan cat, never looking back to her roots in case the others doubted her commitment to her clan.

Questions for BlogClanners:
1. Why didn’t Russetfur ever take a mate? In most other clan deputies and leaders of her generation (Raggedstar, Crookedstar, Oakheart, Bluestar, etc) its rare that you’d find a cat who never did, even secretly. In fact, many of the warriors of Shadowclan who lived through Brokenstar’s time decided to opt out as well (Blackstar, Russetfur, Cinderfur, Stumpytail, Flintfang, etc), perhaps pointing to a realization of the fragility of familial bonds by the senior warriors. Or perhaps she was just very independent?
2. Do you think Russetfur and Firestar would have been different if they were subjected to different conditions, or was it merely based on their personalities beforehand? (Ex: a Firestar that lived in Shadowclan during a stricter generation without any prophesied powers, or a Russetfur that lived in Thunderclan during a time of relaxed rules and a prophecy made for her.)
3. I really like Russetfur as a character. The only instance where I didn’t like her was that time Berrykit was stuck in a trap and she said that because he was a kittypet, she was not code-bound to assist him. However, after writing this article, I began to consider Russetfur’s life-long effort to prove herself; in your opinion, was she just being a jerk, or was she making sure that the patrol she led didn’t think that she was soft or still one of “them”?
4. Why did Russetfur attack Firestar during that battle? Did she really intend to kill him, or did she know that her extreme age meant retirement soon, and wanted to die in battle?
5. What do you think Russetstar’s leadership could have been like? I think she could have been a strong leader to restore Shadowclan’s reputation, just as Blackstar set out to do.

Thus concludes my article! Tell me what you think in the comments. 😊


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December 27, 2018 1:54 am

Great article Viperfrost! I really enjoyed this article & loved how you wrote it! Great job & I can’t wait for your next article!😁👍🏻👏🏻😊

Foxtail (Foxie)
Foxtail (Foxie)
December 27, 2018 2:12 am

Wow great article, Viper!!! You ask some pretty good questions that require deep thinking. All of your articles are awesome 😀 I never even thought about comparing Firestar and Russetfur. Nice job! Russetfur’s pretty snarky and sassy but she’s a great character. I would have liked to see her leadership 🙂

December 27, 2018 2:17 am

Great article! 😀 I really love all your points. You should write more of these! It’s surprising to find how similar cats lives are 🙂
1-I think she was very independent, and maybe wanted to focus on serving her clan and proving her loyalty.
2-Yeah, probably, but I don’t know how 😛
3-Hmm, Idk, I don’t really remember that part so a can’t say.
4-I really don’t know.
5-I agree, I think she would be fierce, and fight for her clan, but wise enough not to go into pointless battles.

December 27, 2018 2:17 am

Wow! Great article! I like Russetfur for what’s seen of her and I haven’t even considered her similarities between her and Firestar. Personally, I’ve always believed that many background cats have kits and mates (maybe Russetfur included) but considering they aren’t the focus, those cats are never seen. But then again, I love Russetfur being a single she-cat giving every bit to her clan. I think it suites her.

December 27, 2018 3:11 am

Great article – I’ve never considered Russetfur and Firestar as living similar lives!

1 – I think that she was just really devoted to her Clan. Growing up in a time of fragility in ShadowClan, I think that she was determined to help build up her Clan into what it was before and leave the actual growing of cats to others.
2- Your life is part condition, part how you work with it. Both are factors, and thinking about the what ifs isn’t really worth it imo. Nothing in life is just personality and nothing in life is just the conditions you were born into.
3 – I think that she was just being rude and grumpy to seem not soft.
4 – Hm. As a cat who seems pretty rule-bound, I doubt that Russetfur set off to kill Firestar. Yes, she’s rather grumpy, but I don’t think that she’s the type to murder. I think that she was just battling for her Clan and assumed that she should go for the leader to weaken the rest. She fought really hard bc she thought that Firestar still had multiple lives, so while she wasn’t aiming to kill she knew that if she did Firestar’s wouldn’t die die.
5 – I think that she would have continued to build up ShadowClan

Heliodor [they/xe/he/ve]
Heliodor [they/xe/he/ve]
December 27, 2018 3:37 am

1 – I think she was just very independent or just never gave any thought to having a mate/kits.
2 – I’m not really sure 😛
3 – Russetfur was being a jerk. This post on WCRP summarizes why:
4 – This post on WCRP:
5 – I think she wouldn’t have lasted long, even with nine lives. Rowanstar was a better choice, as he was younger and wasn’t on the verge of retirement. (Rowanstar deserved better)
But I mean, I’ve never liked Russetfur at all. She’s a giant hypocrite and breaks the code twice when watching Berrykit die in the fox trap, and intentionally trying to kill Firestar. I don’t think Russetfur and Firestar are too comparable, but I can see where you’re coming from. Nice article.

♡ 𝕄𝕠𝕠𝕟 (𝕄𝕠𝕠𝕟𝕓𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕫𝕖) - Moon of Silver Winter Sky ♡
♡ 𝕄𝕠𝕠𝕟 (𝕄𝕠𝕠𝕟𝕓𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕫𝕖) - Moon of Silver Winter Sky ♡
December 27, 2018 7:24 pm

I really like your Parallel Paths articles. They’re really interesting 🙂 Well done!

December 27, 2018 9:01 pm

Well said! Consider writing more. 😀

(Also, Russetfur deserves a Super Edition!!!)

Whiterabbit who was almost too lazy to change her name to something non-halloweeny
Whitepaw (Whiterabbit)
September 2, 2020 6:24 pm

For question number 1, I don’t know, but I thought Cinderfur did have a mate and kits. She mated with Ashheart and had Quietkit, Turtlekit, and Rubblekit. It’s on the warriors family tree on the official website. Most of the time during Brokenstar’s reign, the queens are having kits that don’t survive, so you don’t pay much attention to the kits or their father, which leads you to believe that they don’t have kits, but sometimes they do.

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