An unexpected change


photo by Clarabelle Fields

Happy July, dearest subjects. 

We are now halfway through the year, and your royal Highness thought he was getting a lucky break this past month. It has now been sixteen months that your feline leader has had to cohabitate with Dog. Although relations with the slap-happy Dog have improved in recent months, the imperial jester and man-at-arms still can prove to be quite a nuisance in his highness’s imperial  schedule. 

Except for brief hours of reprieve during things called “walks”—the mere mention of which makes Dog froth at the mouth—the canine has remained a near-constant companion for Emperor Julius for all these many months. And while his highness has made the best of it, Dog never fails to annoy after long enough. 

But last month, something changed. Dog went away in the car. Dog often goes away in the car, but he almost always returns before his highness can even get a good nap in. Dog was gone for a long time. It seemed as if he might not return. His highness was hopeful, but he knew he had been tricked in this way before. For two days and one night, he reigned supreme and alone, just as he used to.

When Dog returned, he was different. He didn’t annoy the emperor or chase him or try to sniff his tail. He was tired, and he smelled of The Place of Troubles—the vet whose name shall be unspoken. His highness had never seen this side of Dog. So quiet, so tired, in need of comfort. Dog slept for three days, and his Highness found his heart moved. He slept next to Dog, keeping him company. Emperor Julius knows well the Place of Troubles, and he felt for Dog. 

After those three days, he found he felt different about Dog. He no longer was repulsed by Dog’s smell or belongings. In fact, he began to find some comfort in Dog. He now counts Dog’s bed among one of his own.

Dog is feeling better now, and is on the road to being his annoying self again. But Emperor Julius will never see him the same way again, and now they have more to share. 

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