Victoria Pegacorn takes an analytical look at Brightheart’s ability to understand the dogs.
I’ve already brought up this question in my last article named “Communication and intelligence of another (non cat) animals in Warriors — Deep analysis”. It puzzled me that the cat could recount to her fellow clanmates the words of the pack in her native language. Meanwhile, the dogs shouted these words in dog language. Cats don’t understand the dog language. Dogs couldn’t talk in the cat language (I discussed why in more detail in the article mentioned above). The pack didn’t know this language, and a meowing dog is something unimaginable. Why would the dogs do this?
Earlier, Cinderpelt also recounted to Fireheart the same words of the dog pack “Pack, pack, kill, kill” in cat language. She heard them in her dream and understood.
I quote an excerpt from “Dangerous Path”:
“- Fireheart, StarClan sent me a dream last night.
Something in her voice made Fireheart shiver. He still couldn’t get used to the fact that his little apprentice had become a real medicine cat, living alone, without a friend and children, secretly meeting other healers and communicating with the souls of star warriors in some incredible way.
What was the dream about?” Fireheart asked. He himself has often had prophetic dreams in which he received warnings about what should happen in the near future. That’s why he felt he could better understand the reverent confusion Cinderpelt felt at that moment.
I can’t say exactly,” Cinderpelt said, looking up shyly. “It seems I was standing in the forest. I heard something big making its way through the thickets, but I didn’t see anyone. I heard voices – rough voices, and they didn’t speak in cat… But I understood what they were saying. Her voice trailed off. Shifting anxiously on her front paws, Cinderpelt looked away, her gaze darkening.
What did they say?” Fireheart pressed.
Something very strange!” Cinderpelt exclaimed. “They shouted, ‘Pack, pack!’ And then: ‘Kill! Kill!'” end of quote
In Cinderpelt’s case, it’s clear why she understood the words of the dogs in her dream. StarClan, the ancestors, sent the dream in a language the medicine cat would understand. How the ancestors themselves understood what the dogs were saying remains unclear to me, but that’s a different topic, and much about the capabilities of StarClan remains unrevealed.
After Cinderpelt told Fireheart about the dream, he was disappointed and didn’t show much interest in it since the clan had many other more tangible and important problems.
“Fireheart could barely hide his disappointment. He hoped that StarClan would send them a significant sign, suggesting how to deal with the current dangers – the rise of Tigerclaw, Blue Star’s illness, the aftermath of the fire!
Did you understand what it means?” he asked tiredly.
Cinderpelt shook her head, and Fireheart, surprised, saw real fear in her eyes – as if the healer saw some dire threat that he was not yet able to discern.
Not exactly. Maybe when I go to the High Rocks, StarClan will reveal more to me… All I know, Fireheart, is that something terrible awaits us.”
Cinderpelt twitched her ears irritably.
Fireheart! I’m telling you about StarClan’s message, not some nonsense like a thorn in fur! It concerns all of us! We need to find out what this dream means!
You figure it out! You’ll do it much better than me – you’re our medicine cat, after all!” Fireheart shouted as he ran off.” – end of quote.
Evidently, Cinderpelt was very concerned about this prophecy and was displeased with Fireheart’s reaction. She didn’t have a mentor anymore, so she might have wanted to share this prophecy with someone else besides Fireheart. Now let’s remember that Brightheart is Cinderpelt’s biological sister; it’s quite possible Cinderpelt told her sister about her dream.
Theory 1: Cinderpelt told Brightheart about her dream, quoting the pack’s words from the dream. Later, when dogs attack Brightheart and Swiftpaw, Brightheart realizes it’s the dog pack and remembers her sister’s prophecy. The cat sees the pack leader barking something, but subconsciously perceives it as the frightening command words from the dream, especially as the dogs really want to kill them. Later, barely breathing and in a state of shock, Brightheart could only repeat the shocking words from Cinderpelt’s prophecy that came true. She didn’t understand the dogs’ words, but in such stressful situations, the brain starts to use imagination, and the victim becomes very impressionable. Therefore, Brightheart was absolutely sure that the dogs were saying those words. This perception was justified by the previously heard prophecy, and the “deja vu” phenomenon also played its role.
Theory 2: During the dog attack, StarClan sent Brightheart a fleeting vision in which she could understand the dogs’ words. Maybe they somehow knew she would survive and could recount these words. StarClan could do this to make Fireheart and Bluestar realize their mistakes. Fireheart ignored Cinderpelt’s prophecy. Hearing these words, he understood the connection between the prophecy and the dogs and began to regret ignoring it. Bluestar almost disregarded her clan, and it was terrible for the leader to hear such intimidating words from a cat that suffered because of her. Bluestar really played a significant role in this accident.
I understand that the authors might not have contemplated that Brightheart just couldn’t understand the dogs, let alone consider all these theories I’m suffering with over here. But in my eyes, the first theory is now canon, as to me, it’s the best explanation for how Brightheart relayed words spoken in a foreign language. Moreover, these theories don’t contradict the established canon and the events of the books.
Tell What do you think about this, I’m looking forward to hear your theories and speculations!