My character-design nit-pick misfits for fictional fighting felines (Part I) By Hootsnout

Hootsnout gives her opinion on the reasoning behind some characters’ names.

Art by InspectorSpinda on Twitter

Hello there to everyone who decided to read this Warriors article.

My name is Hootsnout, and I will be explaining why I imagine some cats the way I do, based on their name.

Have you ever wondered why a cat would have a name like Turtle Tail when the clans probably don’t know what tortoises or sea turtles are?

Do you imagine Jayfeather having an appearance that is like a Blue Jay, even though they don’t exist in Britain?

Well, I’m going to tell you why some cats have names like that, and the identical inspirations for their visual identifications, if that makes sense. That’s some time well spent by my typing.

Please take my words with a pinch of salt, as these are just my own speculations and theories as to why some cats might have a name connected to something that exists where the Erins live.

Anyway, let’s start the main part before I blabber on:

Jayfeather

“A grey tabby Tom with blind blue eyes.”

To some, he’s a grump. To many others, he’s their son.

What do I have to say about Jayfeather, whatever it is?

First of all, it mentions in Leafpool’s Wish that the colour of his eyes are “as blue as a jay’s wing” for which he is named after.
When it mentions a “jay’s wing” you might think of a blue jay. After all, there is a patch of blue on the wings that is a lot more vivid than the rest of the bird and a lot of Warriors fans are from America, which is where this bird can be found.
But why would his eyes be as blue as the wing of a blue jay when the entire bird is blue, not just the wings? Would it just be “eyes as blue as a (blue) jay” if referring to the whole bird and not just part of it? How do the Erins know about blue jays when those birds are very rare to see in Britain?
You could think that they know about them because they read about them in a book or saw one when visiting America, but why would there be blue jays in a place where you don’t even see red cardinals, and the only robin that you will see is a British songbird?
Why am I asking this? Simple.
Jays do exist in Britain, but they are a different kind of bird to the blue jay.
These Eurasian Jays – as they are called – are mostly a pinkish-brown colour with black-and-white markings and blue feathers on their wings.
If you have even seen one, whether it be in a book or in real life, you will have noticed the eye-catching colours and markings on their wings, which are stripes in various shades of electric blue, black and white. I have been lucky enough to see one of these shy birds in real life for a moment whilst riding my bicycle in a forest, and it would’ve been difficult to see without the recognisable striped feathers in startling-blue as these birds can fly for cover very quickly.

Therefore, Jayfeather is named after the Eurasian Jay for the vivid blue feathers of its wings because blue jays are rare where the Erins live and in the New Forest, the English National Park for which gave the creators and writers inspiration for the Forest Territories.

Swiftpaw

“A small black-and-white Tom with pale amber eyes.”

What makes this Thunderclan cat so “swift”?

Well, I’ve seen a lot of people depict him being white with black markings. I used to imagine him like that as well, until I knew another meaning to swift.
There is a bird that exists called the common swift in Britain, and what does this bird look like?
Sooty-brown with a marking on its chin that is described by multiple sources to be “whitish” or “pale-grey” when seen up close.
Because the swift spends most of its time in the air (even while sleeping) and from where it can be seen from on the ground, it looks like a black-and-white bird far away.
But why isn’t Swiftpaw described as a “sooty-brown-and-grey Tom” or a “black Tom with a white chin” instead of a “black and white” cat?
My theory is that a description like that wouldn’t fit in the Allegiances because it’s too specific and that Swiftpaw could be a black cat with more than one patch on white fur on him, like his tail-tip or chest for example, hence why he is described as just a “black-and-white” Tom.
I believe that Swiftpaw is named after a bird called the common swift because of his appearance bearing a similarity to the bird when it can be seen flying high in the sky from the ground.
It could be the case that Swiftpaw was named for his talent of quick instincts or something similar, but why would he be called that when his pelt colours are similar to the swift?

Therefore, Swiftpaw looks like the common swift, hence his name.

You can imagine the appearances of the characters in Warriors however you want, but this is why I imagine some cats looking like their possible namesakes.

Well, this is the end of the first half for this article. Yes, there’s more.

Thank you for reading. Once again, my name is Hootsnout, and goodbye.

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🍂 Pineblossom 🥮
🍂 Pineblossom 🥮
August 8, 2019 1:35 am

This is a great article Hoot! It really delves into more detailed possibilities of some names and it also talks about birds which I am obsessed about 😀


✧ vouch for foxie! ✧

Astie the Meowing Aster (Asterstorm/ Meowing Aster)
Astie the Meowing Aster (Asterstorm/ Meowing Aster)
August 8, 2019 5:22 am

Nice article 😸! Actually in the traditional writing style Chinese translation of Warriors published in Taiwan, it addressed that the “jay” in “Jayfeather” is Eurasian jay, not blue jay. In that translation, Jayfeather’s name is 松鴉羽, which means “Eurasian-jay-feather”. If it’s really blue jay, his name would be 冠藍鴉羽– “Blue-jay-feather” (or maybe just 藍鴉羽 as they like to make warrior names not longer than 3 words). So it’s just a little piece of information I’d like to add here 😉😛.

Fallenshadows
Fallenshadows
August 8, 2019 1:37 pm

This is a really interesting article Hoot! 🙂 I especially liked the possibility of Swiftpaw’s name coming from the bird, not necessarily being quick.


6.022 x 10^23

crow ⦿ blackie ⦿ blackpaw/shade
crow ⦿ blackie ⦿ blackpaw/shade
August 8, 2019 7:40 pm

I like this cos I have sorta wondered about jayie


a wild comment appeared!

Silvs
Silvs
August 9, 2019 2:10 pm

I love this article! Make part two!

Briarpaw
Briarpaw
August 9, 2019 9:44 pm

Cool article! In my brain, Swiftpaw meant that he was fast, so I always imagined it that way. Somehow, I did not think about the bird!

Turtlepaw/ dapple 🐢🐢🐢
Turtlepaw/ dapple 🐢🐢🐢
April 25, 2020 1:49 pm

Hi Plume! Great article. I never thought about Swiftpaw being named for a swift. This was interesting!

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