Epistles from the Emperor: Vol. IX

photo by Clarabelle Fields

Reflections and musings on an anniversary.

I write to you, dearest subjects, at the turn of another season. I began penning these letters to you nine months ago in the depths of winter. Soon, I will move back to my winter quarters in preparation for long, frozen nights and cloudy, sleepy days. The warmer seasons have been eventful this year, rife with intrigue and change. I am not sure what this winter will bring, but I hope, at the very least, it will bring a kind of peaceful, introspective slowness to my empire, and that I can nap by my fire again, undisturbed and in my most suitable feline glory.

Around the time that I began writing to you, I had been hearing rumors of a creature known as Dog coming in my imminent future. Little did I know the kind of changes that would come to my life in the seasons after. It is safe to say that at this point Dog is not going anywhere. For the first few months, I held out some hope that Dog might have been a temporary visitor in my realm. Unfortunately, as I suspected, this was never meant to be the case. As I approach nine months cohabitating with Dog, I have begun coming to terms with the fact that he is indeed a visitor of the permanent variety.

This September marks my fifth year since assuming the position of emperor in this household. In the years since my ascension, I have learned much about imperial ways. I have gained experience, confidence, understanding. But, I will admit, little had prepared me properly for the arrival of Dog after five years of ruling largely undisturbed and alone.

I never thought I would “share” — how I hate that word — my empire with anyone, and certainly not someone as stupid and uncivilized as Dog. Alas, I did not have much choice. I have made the best of things as much as I can. Dog is learning, in a slow, painstaking process, how to carry himself around the Emperor. His learning is very slow. But he does learn eventually, and I don’t have to use my claws as much anymore.

This winter will not be like the winters past, but perhaps I will sleep by my fire after all. Perhaps as Dog grows older, he will grow wiser, although he will never be as wise as me. My human says that one day she hopes to see us sleeping by the fire together. I laugh at this foolishness. Obviously, that will never happen — Dog is stinky and scratches himself obnoxiously. I would never sleep next to Dog. But maybe one day, just maybe, Dog will be a good subject to me. Maybe I will watch over my empire from my regal high spots, and Dog will be among the crowd, one of many who are loyal to me.

Sometimes, for a few minutes, I sit next to Dog. He is stinky, but he is warm, full of a never-ending kind of stupid, wholehearted love. He follows me around the house, and he checks up on me throughout the day while I’m taking my regal rest. Sometimes he worries about me, protects me. My human says he sees me as one of his sheep, something to guard with his life.

Maybe human was not so foolish after all. Maybe Dog will have a place in my empire one day. He just needs to keep learning, and I will have a place for him under my mighty Paw.

Until next time,

Emperor Julius

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