Happy summer tidings, my dearest subjects. A month has already passed since my last missive to all of you. The active, bird-filled days of spring are gone now, having melted away into the long, lazy days of summer. I have completed my move into my summer quarters, as is usual. In warmer months, I typically prefer the airy solitude of my window sleeping-places over my chair by the fireplace. I enjoy my chair, and my bed, and my servants’ laps, but there is a season for everything, and summer is the season for unbothered napping in sunny windowsills.
Unfortunately, the job of emperor comes with great responsibility, and I have many tasks I must take care of throughout my empire. It is not easy for me to nap as luxuriously and unbothered as I would like these days. There is stress upon me, for we are in the midst of another ongoing assault upon my borders and my sovereignty. But this assault is not, as you might be expecting, the fault of Dog. Are you surprised, dear subjects? In my last letter, I wrote of my plans for an ongoing cold war with Dog. My plans have remained unchanged, and the cold war is currently in motion, the gears of time slowly turning towards my inevitable victory. However, since the wait for this victory is long, and since I must play my cards carefully, I have actually found a use for Dog in the meantime…
My empire is currently under attack by a rogue army. Skirmishers have banded together to try to move into my territory. They come at night, unannounced and unexpected, leaving as quickly as they attack, always trying to take something with them: my birdseed, my soil, my scent. There are two cats who are the linchpins of the affair, dual leaders in this scheme to usurp me. They rush me from my flanks at night, even sometimes during the day if they are feeling particularly brazen. They have enlisted the help of a wily possum who knows the ins and outs of the land and has been scoping out the flaws in my defenses. There is also Doe, whom they have enlisted for her size and speed. I see her running past my territory lines at dawn, always watching, relaying information back to the linchpins so they can plan their next assault. I don’t even want to think about the coyotes in the woods beyond my house. I hear them chattering and laughing at night, and I can only hope and pray that they have not yet been drafted into the battle against me.
This, my dear subjects, is where Dog comes in, an unlikely ally in this affair. As I mentioned before, I previously believed he had ulterior motives, but the more time I have spent with him, the more I have begun to believe that he really is just a cheerful idiot. He seems eager to help me in this battle, so at the very least–for now–I will pretend that we are on the same side and that I have good intentions for him in my heart. He could be trying to play the long game like I am, but he has shown no signs of treachery. All day and night, he valiantly guards my empire as if his life depends on it. He has defended us from the cats, from Wily Possum, from Doe. He has tried to defend us from the coyotes preemptively, setting up a patrol perimeter on the border between us and them. He might be large and stupid and stinky, but he has proved to be a valuable ally in this fight.
For now, we work together, and we will wait and see what the future brings. I do not ever intend to let Dog get the better of me, but he has a job to do for me, and he is doing it well.
Until next time,