Starting out life as a tiny little ball of fluff, this young she-cat, in her three moons, has quickly established that she is not and likely will never be a very big cat, both in body size and muscle size. Lithe and slender with not much muscle to account for, one would automatically assume that Rustkit had been the runt of her litter had she not been the first born. As she is now, this ruddy she-cat stands nearly a head smaller than other kits her age with a body to match. Though, to attempt to hide her small size, her fur is a mixture of many lengths of fur, short fur growing from her face and legs, medium fur on her shoulders, torso, and mane, and long fur on her tail.
Taking on the coloring of her father, though her clanmates don’t know this, Rustkit gained her name from the color and texture of her pelt. Sporting a rusty red with hints of brown as her primary coat color, blending in with the crimson and flame-colored fallen leaves of Leaffall is a piece of cake for this femme. Bringing a darker flow to her russet pelt, dark brown to black markings adorn her face, back, and tail, tabby-like markings cascading down her forehead and stopping at her eyes, though continuing in a solid streak down her spine. Fading into either of her sides, these dark accents end at about her shoulders, though consume the entire top of her tail, giving her more of the appearance of her namesake. But, in comparison to her darker additions, light cream and white fur also resides upon her face, chin, neck, and stomach. With light cream rounding her eyes and snow white gripping at her muzzle and neck, these markings only seem to brighten her darker top coat. Though it isn’t seen nearly as clearly as the rest, she also carries a patch of flaky white and cream fur along the mid-section between her chest and stomach.
A key feature of this she-cat that many picked up on in her early stages of development, Rustkit carries herself, or more so trips herself, with a set of tiny paws at the end of those legs. Gaining most of her reputation from these paws, she has always struggled with the size of her paws and will likely continue to do so throughout her Apprenticeship.
At last, to finalize this rusty she-cat, a light red nose outlined in black, medium-length white whiskers, and a pair of large and round amber eyes peak Rustkit’s appearance, bringing forth the loveable yet lonely she-kit her clanmates see before them.
"I'm not clumsy, I'm accident prone." -Daniel Radcliffe It is often a common occurrence for different cats of a clan to earn a sort of reputation for themselves. Whether this be a battle they participated in, a rare piece of prey they caught on their own, a moment of success, or just a specific trait or set of traits. In the case of Rustkit, her clumsiness was already a well-known and very visible trait that she became known for from her earlier kithood. With tiny paws that often times have trouble holding the weight of their beholder, the rust-colored she-kit is almost always seen falling into a scene or tripping over herself at the most inconvenient times. Her sheer lack of balance and inability to walk like a normal feline for no longer than a few minutes has always been something she has struggled with. Sometimes it is her clumsy nature that makes her feel discouraged from what her Apprenticeship will be like. Even though she sometimes appears quite troubled or down due to her tangly paws, she still holds true with her determination.
"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." Determination is, in truth, a delicate trait for many. There are so many ranges and inspirations behind this trait that it is often hard to tell the intention behind it. Determination to be promoted, determination to prove one’s self to their clanmates. At times this trait can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how far it causes its carrier to go. Rustkit’s determination actually comes from her clumsiness and her desire to improve herself. She knows that being as uncoordinated as she is could cause some problems, both for her and for her clanmates. While she struggles with it now, she is determined to better herself and improve her coordination with her paws as she grows, hoping to one day be perfectly normal and capable of walking as a regular cat.
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein A desire to learn is something that nearly all older cats hope for in young ones. Kits and Apprentices with a need for learning make them into better students, and eventually better Warriors. Most young cats, if they do have that internal need for knowledge, are more likely to memorize and really take in what it is that they are taught. This is the exact sort of cat that Rustkit is. From a very young age she has always been very curious, constantly wanting to learn something new, whether it be stories of the clan or hunting techniques, or even poking around the Medicine Cat den at herbs. She is a knowledge sponge, always needing to learn something new. Not learning something doesn’t necessarily affect the way she acts, but she does get slightly restless if she hasn’t learned something in a long period of time.
"Hiding your feelings isn't the easy way out, but sometimes it's the only thing you can do." Emotions are...complicated. Joy, happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, betrayal. All of these, and many more, can have varying effects on a cat and their mental state. Some cats are openly emotional, allowing what they feel to be seen and heard by all. Some cats feel emotion, but try not to show it as openly so that they don’t let these emotions control them. Then, of course, there are cats who completely shut their emotions away, appearing cold and dull on the outside even if they don’t feel that way inside. Rustkit is kind of a mixture of these things. She is open with her positive emotions, such as happiness or curiosity or kindness. She has been known to be a very openly friendly cat and a lights-up-a-room sort, almost always sporting a smile of some sort. But, in comparison, she holds in her negative emotions, appearing as though she is just a very happy little she-kit without a care in the world except to learn. She deals with internal struggles all the time, feelings of loneliness and confusion and conflict always bouncing around in her head in some way or another. She tries her hardest to only be alone when she lets herself reveal these emotions, but being a kit who is unable to leave camp or really be left unattended, these emotions slowly grow in pressure over time. In those moments when she finds these emotions bordering the floodgates, she contains them as much as she can until it is dark, at which point she retreats to the back of the nursery and allows herself to quietly let it all out while her clanmates sleep.
After meeting once at a gathering and having quite a meaningful discussion, Mistswirl and Flintshadow couldn’t help but continue meeting at Starclan’s Claws. Initially, their relationship wasn’t anything romantic, but merely what could only be described as spiritual. Both were firm believers in Starclan, and both of them would often reflect on their lives and the existence of Starclan when they were together. Flintshadow never had any intentions of becoming mates, much less having kits, but of course they did have a time or two of passion in-the-moment. Meanwhile, Mistswirl had in fact fallen for him and did wish to become mates, and perhaps start a family. But when she began to bring this up to him, he kept avoiding the subject or giving a vague answer.
Finally, Flintshadow told her that even though he did enjoy her company and saw her as a great friend and cat to talk to for advice, he did not love her that way. He said that they shouldn’t meet at the borders anymore, ensuring that their clans didn’t accuse them of a cross-clan relationship or question their loyalty. Mistswirl was heartbroken, but she accepted his wishes regretfully. It was not too long after this that she discovered that she was pregnant with his kits. As much as she wanted to tell him or go see him, she chose not too, for she didn’t know what his reaction would be. She also didn’t want to shift his thoughts on their relationship after he had already expressed his feelings towards her.
And so, three moons ago, two little kits were born into Rainclan. Both were quite small in size and both took on the appearance of one parent or the other. One of the kits, a she-cat, had a pale cream and white coat much like her mother. She decided to name this kit Shellkit after some of the light-colored shells she had seen throughout the rivers of Rainclan’s territory. The other, the first-born and another she-kit, had a deeper red coat. This coloring reminded Mistswirl of an experience she had shared with the kits’ father a while back, the two cats walking through one of the small canyon-like structures at the edge of Stoneclan and examining the unique coloring of the stone walls that had developed over time. Remembering this, and wishing to pay some tribute to her love in Stoneclan, she named this kit Rustkit.
Unfortunately, nearly a moon after their birth, Shellkit had unexpectedly passed away, likely from something going on inside from what she was told. Perhaps an illness or some sort of developmental mishap. Mistswirl was devastated, as many mothers would be, but she had to keep her head up for Rustkit. Early on she told her only remaining kit of her father in Stoneclan, and about Starclan as well, wishing to implement these beliefs into her kit just as her mother had done to her when she was a kit. Rustkit seemed to accept these beliefs, though wasn’t quite as open or declarative of it like her parents.
Recently, during the end of Leafbare, Mistswirl passed away from an illness, possibly Whitecough or just an infection. She had been sick and had told Rustkit to remain with the other Queens while she tried to recover, but she was unable to. At Mistswirl’s passing, Rustkit found herself alone, left to the care of the other Queens, but not desiring their attention. She appreciated them for taking care of her, but they were not her mother.
Now, Rustkit is living her little life on her own, attempting to become one of the clan while tripping over her own paws and hiding her inner thoughts that have been weighing her down.
Amber eyes narrowed. Black pupils grew thin. Very small paws, hardly passing the speed of a lowly snail, lifting and falling beneath a small body. The tip of a feathery black and red tail twitched multiple times in a row.
The tiny feline figure moved silently along the edge of the camp, the protective reeds that served as a barrier brushing against their side. With all eyes focused on their partners of conversation, small bodies of prey laying at their paws, or the camp entrance, this was the perfect time. Everyone was distracted, attentions revolving around more important matters. Surely there was no reason to be on the lookout for troublesome behavior from any particularly young cats, right?
A smile pulled at the edges of a white maw. She had made it this far, and she had done so without even one slip of the paw. Feeling accomplished, she knew she must keep going. Tiny paws carried the rusty red she-kit along the border, her final destination in sight as she passed one of the other dens. The Medicine Cat Den.
The closer she grew to her goal, the lower to the ground her body became, delicate feet as quiet as a gently flowing stream in a lifeless forest. While this was, in fact, a scheme that she had been planning all morning with the intent of not being caught, she already thought out everything. Her escape from the Nursery, her path around the camp, the time of day in which this scheme would take place, what she would do should her plan succeed, and what she would say if she were caught. She had thought of everything, and so far it had all gone perfectly.
The small red feline had waited for the perfect moment, sliding silently out of the Nursery right as the Queens began to share tongues. She had managed to pass at least two dens without being spotted, her well-known small paws giving her a relieving break from the typical trips and slips that they put her through daily.
And now, here she was, nearing the peak of her plan. The moment she reached the outer edge of the den, her petite body flattened against the ground, using the shadows as her camouflauge. She couldn’t allow herself to be seen, especially not by Dewfrost. Out of all cats to catch her, it was the brown and white Medicine Cat who would cause the whole scheme to fall apart. She had to be quick, she had to be quiet, and, no matter how much they may try, she had to stop her paws from betraying her.
Momentarily, she ran the plan through her head. Ok, so first I need to get to the entrance without being seen. The first patrol is about to leave, so that is my chance. When I get to the opening, I must look in and make sure that Dewfrost isn’t there or is busy. As long as she isn’t, I can slip in without a word. Sneak around the nests- wait, are the nests even empty? Has anyone been injured lately? Silently, the russet she-kit cursed herself. She had thought this plan out so thoroughly, and it is only now she realizes a crucial detail she missed. Well...if they are empty, I need to use them to hide. Get as far back as I can without being seen. And if Dewfrost isn’t standing there, there’s my chance! Get to those herbs!
Subtly nodding to herself, round amber eyes watched and waited. She could see movement across camp, cats gathering as they were assigned to their patrols and sent off. The kit’s fluffy tail swished behind her, hardly able to contain the excitement that she had come this far without being seen.
As soon as she saw a group of Warriors and one or two Apprenices begin to exit camp, she made her move. Just barely lifting her stomach and chest from the ground, tiny blades of grass clinging to her underside, she took tiny and slow strides forward, freezing just at the end of the den. The entrance was just around the corner…
It was time. With an exhale of breath, the small she-kit slunk around the corner of the den, the dark opening forming at the edge of her sight. Right as a single paw began to round the corner, movement caught her attention. Her gaze snapping to the right, she saw a pair of Warriors beginning to near, their gazes at that moment on each other. But they could turn at any second, bringing the whole plan to failure. She had to go, now!
The slightest pang of panic hitting her suddenly, the ruddy she-kit zipped around the corner, eyes frantically going back and forth between the inside of the den and the Warriors that were closing in. In her moment of confusion and meaningless fear, the composure and control she had maintained over her own paws all this time disappeared. Moving too quickly for her small paws to register, something collided with the lower half of her chest. One of the nests!
In an attempt to catch herself, short legs twisted around and over the top of the nest, toes and paw pads barely able to find their center. With her momentum still driving her forward and her clumsy coordination taking hold, her front paws hit the edge of the nest, her back end suddenly lifting. Practically face-first, her muzzle hit the edge of the nest, her legs folded at her stomach, and her body flipped unbalanced over the nest. When her small form no longer moved, she was on her back, front paws folded up against her chin and muzzle while the top of her rear remained against the nest, back legs hung prone above her head.
The small female stayed this way for a few moments, not entirely sure if she was done falling and tripping or if it was over already. Finally, wide amber eyes opened, blinking a few times and unfolding her front paws. She found herself looking up to the ceiling of the den, just barely able to see through the branches and brush that defended the den from the elements.
At the sound of a clearing throat filling her ears, amber pools grew wider, if it were possible. Uh oh. She gently lifted her head, peering up at an upside-down Dewfrost. She was frozen, unsure of what to do or say. The kit wasn’t quite sure how long she remained in her upside down position, gaze locked with Dewfrost’s own blue orbs.
At last, Rustkit’s eyes blinked after having been open the whole time and her body shifted, falling to one side and away from the nest. She got to her feet as quickly as she could, front legs crossing in a weird angle as she offered an innocent smile to the Medicine Cat.
“H-Hello Dewfrost! I was just...coming to say hello!” Though a goofy and toothy grin crossed her features, it was very clear by the look on the Medicine Cat’s face that her little white lie hadn’t worked. She chuckled somewhat awkwardly, glancing passed the Medicine Cat to where she knew the clan’s herbs were stocked and hidden away.
“I...um...I was just going to...” She lost her words, not quite sure what she was supposed to say. She was merely a few days away from becoming an Apprentice. She knew that the older cats expected good things from her, rather than childish schemes pulled by a little kit. What was she to say? She had planned an excuse had someone, perhaps a Warrior or the Deputy, caught her in the act. She was merely practicing her stalking techniques for when she became an Apprentice! Technically, though she thought of it as an excuse, it wasn’t wrong. She had used multiple sneaky maneuvers to get as far as she had, and had surprisingly not tripped over herself during them. It was only when she reached her goal that she lost her composure.
Dewfrost, a Medicine Cat and an important cat within the clan, was not likely to see something like this as just a game. She couldn’t lie. As a soon-to-be Apprentice, she had to prove that she was trustworthy. She had to. Her mother had told her that she would make a great Apprentice, and she was determined to uphold that belief.
“I wanted to come and try and learn about some of your herbs. I see you give them to the Queens all the time, and I wanted to know what they do. I was gonna try and figure it out by myself, but...” Her gaze lifted, a more genuine smile crossing her features. “I think learning from you directly would be better. If you have time?”
The average mischievous kit would be disappointed. Her whole plan, her entire thought out and planned scheme, had merely been so she could sniff and look at herbs, trying to figure out what they were and what they did by herself. It was hardly enough to be called a scheme, nor had it required so much sneaking and hiding in order to do so. She realized this now, and did feel silly. But, she had to admit, focusing so much on being sneaky and achieving a goal, it had helped her keep her balance. Perhaps she could use this information in a few days when her name was finally called and she was made into an Apprentice.