Pinestripe analyses Velvet – what do you think about her?
Velvet is one of my favorite characters. There are many things I love about her- and one of those things is her relationship with her favorite toy.
This is actually the first thing about Velvet that caught my eye because I thought it was pretty cute, and now that I know more about her she’s my favorite character.
The toy is a small detail, I know, and it might seem like a silly thing to focus on but in my opinion it’s the small, cute details like these that make a character unique.
And Velvet’s love for her toy is definitely unique- she was the only cat in the series to have a favorite toy. The only other cats to ever have been shown with a cat toy were Socks and Ruby, who didn’t seem to care much about their toy except to avoid sharing it with Tiny, and Graystripe, who didn’t want to play with the toy he was offered.
This small, arguably insignificant detail adds personality to Velvet. It makes her a character we didn’t see yet because there’s something new and interesting about her. It was also interesting to see the Clan cats’ reaction to this, because a cat having a toy is something they’ve never seen before and they seem quite confused. I love seeing kittypet topics brought up in the books, and this was a fun little moment.
It can give a bit of insight into Velvet’s personality. Velvet is shown to be gentle with her toy (such as when she pats it affectionately), using it mainly for comfort rather than rough play. From what we see it seems more likely she plays with it carefully rather than active hunting games, which reflects her calm, soft personality, and makes sense considering how special the toy is to her, making her afraid to break it.
I think Velvet’s attachment to her toy also makes her a relatable character.
Many people, including me, have a comfort object- and often it’s a stuffed animal or a special toy. So I think most of us can relate to Velvet and understand her need for having her special comfort object with her.
Velvet mentioned that the toy was already her favorite- not just after she had to escape the fire, and I think she may have relied on it for comfort previously as well.
Let’s think about Velvet’s backstory- she was abandoned by her first housefolk and had to live as a stray until she found a new home. Just a theory, but that might be why she picked a favorite toy in the first place- to have something that comforts her and reminds her that her hard past is over.
And then there’s the chance to wonder if maybe she actually had the toy while living with her first housefolk and took it with her for comfort upon being abandoned. She took it with her to the clans, so that shows she could have been able to carry it around as a stray.
Comfort objects can be helpful at any time, but especially at times of stress. Escaping the fire was definitely a stressful time for Velvet- she was scared, didn’t know where her housefolk went, was injured, and had to stay in an unfamiliar place. It’s understandable that she would crave a little comfort.
And having her toy while in an unfamiliar place probably helps her feel more at home since it reminds her of her house and her normal life. It carries the scent and the memories of her housefolk and her safe home.
Another relatable thing is that despite it being completely understandable to have a comfort object, it can sometimes feel silly even though it’s not. Some people are insecure about their attachment to a toy, and Velvet shows some insecurity about it when she first arrives. This insecurity is something many people struggle with in real life, making Velvet’s troubles relatable.
A few Clan cats exchange amused glances when Velvet mentions her toy, clearly thinking it’s silly, which is unfair and clearly made Velvet uncomfortable- an unfortunate problem many people have to deal with in real life as the idea of a comfort object is often seen as a weakness even though it really isn’t. Luckily, Alderheart -who is a wise and considerate cat- stood up for Velvet and was accepting of her need for the toy. He understood that it makes sense she would use it for comfort, and that it’s wrong to judge her.
There is also development during Velvet’s stay with ThunderClan. When she first arrives, she clings to her toy and obviously relies on it to cope. But, as she later stated herself, during her stay she begins to feel more at home with ThunderClan. She starts finding that comfort in her new friends as well and coping with her emotions by helping others and realizes she doesn’t rely on the toy as heavily anymore. In fact, she got so focused on Clan life she ended up forgetting the toy.
But despite adapting to be comfortable without it, Velvet still has that attachment to her toy, and was very relieved and thankful when Alderheart brought it back to her.
This is another relatable situation since I’m sure many of us brought a stuffed animal for comfort at a sleepover, then ended up having so much fun that the friend’s mom had to deliver the forgotten toy to our house the next day.
Another fun thing about Velvet and her toy is that we have room to wonder and imagine about what kind of toy she has, and what it looks like.
I like to imagine that it’s a catnip mouse, like the many catnip mice my own kitties have in their collection. This is highly possible since it’s described as furry and Alderheart once mistook it for a piece of prey.
It’s probably pretty tattered, both because of the fire incident and because Velvet plays with it a lot and takes it with her wherever she goes, although I do think she handles it very gently.
I picture it to be gray with a slight indigo tint and pink felt ears.
One of my personal headcanons is that the toy has a velvety texture to it, and that Velvet’s housefolk picked it to match her name. I find that to be a really cute idea, and possible, as we humans love to pick cat accessories with cute significance to our little kitties’ names or personalities.
How do you imagine Velvet’s toy looks? Any thoughts on her attachment to it, or theories about how she chose it as her favorite? Headcanons are fun, too- like maybe Velvet chose another one of her toys to remind her of Alderheart, maybe she has a certain game she plays with her toy, or maybe she let Briarlight sleep with it one night hoping to comfort the warrior.
So many possibilities, and that’s what I love! I personally find Velvet’s attachment to her toy to be an interesting and unique topic to think about, that lets us imagine and come up with all sorts of cute ideas.
These opportunities are one of the reasons I find Velvet to be such an enjoyable character!