The Royal Hunt


photo by Clarabelle Fields

Summer is the height of his highness’s annual hunting season, during which he goes on many thrilling and exciting expeditions around the house. Valiant and brave, every year Emperor Julius adds more insects and creepy-crawlies to his victory count. And usually it is a good year, giving him many stories that he can brag about by the fireplace come winter. 

His highness has honed his hunting skills over the years, learning when exactly to leap at the glass windows. He knows how to tear down blinds at just the right moment, how to swat at dust bunnies with elegance, and how to stare into space at night in just the right way to scare the humans when they’re home alone. 

His tastes have also evolved with time and experience. He now knows not to bother with most bugs, saving his energy for the juiciest and best. Dog can take care of the boring, plebeian daily fare…pill bugs, june bugs, house flies, the average spider just trying to mind its own business in a quiet corner. Ticks and mosquitoes are the humans’ department. The truly dangerous ones — wasps, though they buzz so delightfully — the humans can deal with too. 

His highness saves his razor-sharp claws for just the right catch: the challenge, the speed, the temptation of none other than the fruit fly. 

Stealthy and quiet, this adversary poses a delightful challenge. He has to stay on his toes, all four paws at the ready. Sight and precision is essential here, all the more so in dim evening light. He must leap, track, and wait, eyes dilated to their full murderous potential. Humans and Dog watch him in awe, amazed by his predatory dance. How he leaps! How he bounds! The fruit fly is just within his royal reach! 

Sometimes the blinds come with him. Sometimes the curtain. Sometimes mementos on the mantle. But thankfully his Highness always walks away unscathed, ready to hunt another day. 

As he curls up in his window-bed, he sharpens his claws and dreams of the next time. One day, the fruit fly will be his. Until then, he naps. 

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. 

Summer at Casa Julius


photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash (NOT a photo of Emperor Julius)

It has been several moons since our dear readers have received a missive from his royal highness Julius. Seasons are once again changing at Casa Julius, and his Highness has completed his transition from his winter to summer quarters yet again — an arduous annual journey from his blanketed chair by the living room fireplace to his blanketed window basket in the summer sun.

So far, this summer has been a quiet one at Casa Julius. There have been no sightings of coyotes in the nearby woods, and the turf wars of last summer with the neighboring cat-kings has yet to resurface. Perhaps that is the influence of Dog, his Highness’ live-in court jester and man-at-arms. What there have been are plenty of birds, and snakes, and frogs, and little insects that scurry around in the garden outside. His Highness has taken to watching their motions throughout the day as his royal entertainment. It is great fun for him to watch inferior creatures travailing in the summer weeds, while he is content and comfortable inside his air-conditioned palace.

Sometimes the sorry little creatures find their way into the house, and his Highness will dispose of these intruders himself, personally. Hunting them is like sport for him — the more dangerous ones, of course, are handled by his soldiers without him even having to lift a paw. But the insects that present no real danger, only fun, definitely are the sport of the emperor. He has taken a great liking to hunting them in the evenings. There is nothing better than engaging in a riveting indoor hunt followed up by a tongue-bath and a little sip of milk. It is not becoming, of course, for an emperor to eat what he has hunted. (Such is the habit of the peasantry.) But his man-at-arms is happy to accept whatever his Highness presents. Another benefit of having a dog in the house — Julius now has a live-in vacuum cleaner as well.

From his summer basket, His Highness sends his regards. He hopes that his followers are having a pleasant opening to summer just as he is.

Top 5 YouTube Cats: Spring Edition


photo by Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash

Happy March, dear readers!

It is starting to feel like springtime at casa Julius, with a warm buzz in the air and blue skies and little delicious flower buds sprouting from the soil. (Sadly, Julius’ primary human has yet to give in and grow a catnip plant in the garden — maybe next year. The petition continues.) Despite the lack of royal catnip, His Highness always manages to enjoy the spring. Long hours sunning himself in open windows, breathing in fresh air, watching birds…spring is a special time for kitty-cats!

While Julius watches birds and smells the flowers this season, what are other springtime cats doing? Here’s our list of 5 YouTube cats to watch when we want to feel the spring spirit and enjoy the warming air like Julius is!

#5.

Cats seem have impeccable taste when it comes to finding the perfect flower to delicately sniff…and perhaps do a little more to. In this video, we see two feline flower connoisseurs carefully smelling and sampling the latest that spring has to offer. Nothing is cuter than watching those little noses inspecting the latest offering.

(Be safe, obviously, and don’t leave your pets unattended with plants. Many flowers are toxic to cats.)

#4.

Cat video lovers will probably be familiar with this channel (walter santi), which is bursting full of videos showing the little cat haven the creator has made for so many adorable and wonderful kitties. Here, we get to see the walter santi crew enjoying themselves in their best feline fashion in the warm sun — playful, happy, and carefree.

#3.

What list would be complete without an appearance from our favorite, Butters the Bean? Some cat connoisseurs specialize in flower-tasting, others prefer to sample spring in other ways, such as modeling. Here we see the handsome Butters showing off some high spring fashion. Who doesn’t look good in a flower crown?

#2.

Some cats really want to share the love of spring — and love in general — with others. Some secret admirers might be off-putting or worrisome, but I can’t think of a better one than a sweet-hearted, generous cat.

#1.

As beautiful as spring might be, sometimes we might not be entirely in the springtime spirit yet. This final video is a lighthearted note to end on for those of us who might not be entirely pumped about the arrival of spring. Sometimes we just need six more weeks of hibernation and staying warm and cozy inside!

Regardless of whether you are welcoming spring or still settled in winter, Emperor Julius sends his good wishes and hopes all of you stay warm and well. Talk to you next time!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are completely my own. Neither I nor anyone at Sir Socks Le Chat has any association, affiliation, or other such relationship with any of the YouTubers/YouTube channels listed in this article.

Top 5 YouTube Cats: Holiday Edition


Happy December and happy holiday month, readers!

Last month, Julius and I talked about our top five favorite cat YouTubers. Continuing in a similar vein this month, Julius and I are again going to talk about our favorite YouTube cats — this time with an appropriately seasonal twist. Year after year, cats around the world do what they do best each holiday season: climb and claw things, bat around lights and ornaments, and “help” decorate, all the while being adorably cute the entire time.

Despite what your holiday decorations might want to argue, the holiday season wouldn’t be nearly as happy or jolly without the hilarious antics of our fuzzy tree-climbing companions. So go ahead and snuggle up by the fire and grab a glass of warm milk — let’s get into our list of our top five favorite YouTube cats, holiday edition!

P.S. The opinions expressed in this article are completely my own. Neither I nor anyone at Sir Socks Le Chat has any association, affiliation, or other such relationship with any of the YouTubers/YouTube channels listed in this article.

#5. Christmas trees are really just fancy cat playgrounds

You might remember Minnie (iizcat) from our article last month. This feline household favorite makes another appearance in our holiday lineup. Nothing brings about warm holiday fuzzy feelings better than seeing Minnie happy and in her element playing in her humans’ Christmas tree. Minnie and her humans’ loving relationship is once again on full display in these holiday videos: just a little sweet cat having fun, ringing in the holiday spirit, surrounded by love and kindness and bright winter lights.

#4. Cats on Christmas Day 

This now-classic video has made the rounds on the internet each holiday season for the last few years. I’m sure that many cat lovers have had this video shared with or sent to them by friends and family. This commercial-esque video from I.C.T. shows off cats doing their favorite holiday activities — accompanied by expert camera work and dramatic music to match.

#3. Cute kitty cat exploring around under Christmas tree looking for gifts

This short and sweet video is another favorite of ours. This little gem comes from a lesser-known YouTube channel and features great up-close shots of an adorably fluffy and happy kitty having a great time exploring the wonderland under their human’s Christmas tree. It’s honestly surprising that this heartwarming video hasn’t gone viral yet!

#2. The Oreo Cat: Happy Holidays!

What’s the best kind of holiday gift you could receive? Answers may vary from person to person, but in our household the answer would definitely be a purring little bundle of joy in a box! This video does an excellent job capturing the best of the holidays from the perspective of a cat — boxes, warm lights, friends and family, and bags and bags of Friskies Party Mix. Nothing is cuter than a happy cat in a box!

#1. Cat Dresses Up As Santa

Okay, there might be something cuter than a cat in a box: a pudgy cat in a Santa outfit. Like Minnie from iizcat, Butters the Bean also made an appearance last month in our previous article. (Julius’ mom might just have a thing for orange cats.) Ever adorable, lovable, and wonderful, Butters is perhaps one of the cutest little Santas we have ever seen. Peaceful and happy, Butters will no doubt help even the Grinchiest among us get into a good holiday mood.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s installment of top YouTube cats! What are some of your favorite holiday cat videos? Does your cat like to “help” you decorate for the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time,

Clarabelle and Julius

Top 5 YouTube Cats


photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash

Happy November, dear readers!

As a change of pace from our usual Epistles from the Emperor, Julius and I are counting down our top 5 favorite cat YouTubers for this month’s article. It probably comes as no surprise that one of our favorite–or at least, my favorite–pastimes is watching cat videos on YouTube. (I don’t know if Julius appreciates videos of other cats, but he does like videos of mice.)

Over years of cat video-curating, I have come across a number of online cat personalities that have purred their way into my favorites list. Here’s my top 5 cats I love to watch on YouTube!

P.S. The opinions expressed in this article are completely my own. Neither I nor anyone at Sir Socks Le Chat has any association, affiliation, or other such relationship with any of the YouTubers/YouTube channels listed in this article.

#5. Teddy the Honking Cat

No list of favorite online cats would be complete without Teddy! Most famous for the unique “honk” he uses to communicate with his human mom, Teddy is an adorable oriental shorthair cat who stars alongside his brothers in videos on their mom’s channel. Teddy is just a delight to watch. His unique facial expressions make him look like he is taking life very seriously — and he isn’t afraid to let his human know what he wants! Teddy can often be seen snuggling with his brothers, exploring (and getting stuck in) various places around the house, and showing off some of his cat-ittude. You will never forget Teddy once you watch him!

#4. Caesar

Hailing from one of YouTube’s smaller cat channels, Caesar the tabby cat has gained some recognition for the conversations he has with his human mom on camera. Showing off his honest-to-goodness tabby attitude, Caesar is a delight to watch, and he’s adorable to boot. He often appears in videos alongside his other cat siblings, and it’s fun to see the kitties interact together and play (and play-fight). Other videos of Caesar feature him partaking in typical cat activities, such as enjoying paper bags and boxes and sleeping in adorable positions. But Caesar is best known for being an avid conversationalist! I think he makes some very important points, don’t you?

#3. Minnie

Minnie always puts a smile on my face! This cute little white-socked tabby of “Want a cookie?” fame is just so adorably sweet that it’s impossible not to love her! She has such a beautiful relationship with her people and her canine sibling — it always puts me in such a good mood to watch their videos. Minnie often can be seen snuggling with her humans, giving and receiving kisses, and demonstrating her enthusiasm for canned tuna (and “cookies“). She is just beautiful through and through and is sure to become a favorite for anyone who likes cute cat videos.

#2. Thurston Waffles

This fluffy white little monster shot to fame last year thanks to a well-circulated meme of his distinctively loud and dramatic meowing (affectionally called “shrimping” by his human parents). Thurston the “shrimp king” is a wonderfully over-the-top bundle of evil, mischief, and confidence, all wrapped up in the most fluffy white coat you could ever imagine. Aside from his dramatic arias, Thurston also likes to demand that his dad take him on walks, manipulate his humans to heed his every command, and scratch everything in sight. Thurston’s antics never fail to make me laugh, and his dad puts so much effort into each video that they often feel like works of art in and of themselves. We love ya, Thurston!

#1. Butters the Bean

It’s no surprise that I have a soft spot for orange cats. (Blame Julius, not me.) Taking the number one spot in this lineup is none other than Butters the Bean, a delightfully pudgy orange and white tabby cat with more than enough personality for his frame. What’s not to love about this cat? He’s pudgy, he’s sassy, and he’s sweet, and his humans lovingly attend to his every need with the heartwarming love and devotion that every cat deserves. His mom posts multiple videos a day, with uploads consisting of lots of beautiful cat close ups, meow fests, and unboxings of cat toys. Butters is always the star of the show, unapologetically himself in all his round regal glory, and we love him for it!

What did you think of this list? Do you have other favorites that weren’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!

Epistles from…the dog?!


No description available.

Hi there! I’m Lenny! They told me to make a post this month and I don’t know what to write about but I’m going to do my best! I’m supposed to write all about my big brother Julius and how much I love him! Did I mention my name is Lenny?

I’m the only dog in the house, but that doesn’t bother me! I have my humans and my big brother with me so I am the happiest dog in the whole wide world! Julius calls himself the emperor but I just think of him as my very best friend! I love to run around and play with him all day. I chase him and he hides under the couch and then he swats at me and we have so much fun together! Sometimes he hurts me with his claws, but it’s okay because I know it was an accident. He loves me just like I love him — he doesn’t always know how to show it!

When I first came here, he didn’t like me very much, but I knew we were going to be best friends right away! I thought he was so grown-up and smart and wonderful that I followed him around all day watching everything he did so I could learn to be big and smart just like he is! My big brother is fun to have around — not only do we get to play chase and hide-and-seek, we also do other fun things together, like nap, sit around in the sunlight, and hang out on the couch. I like to show him my toys, although he doesn’t seem to find them as interesting as I do, but that’s okay! He lets me play with his toys sometimes and I have so much fun! Recently he has also been letting me sleep in bed with him, and we get to all snuggle together in a big warm bunch and it feels safe and cozy like a den!

Although we have fun together, sometimes I get sad because Julius doesn’t want to play with me. I wish he would go on walks with me, but he likes to stay by himself at home. He often ignores me and disappears high above in places I can’t reach. Sometimes he can even be a little mean, but I still love my big brother Julius very much. He is the best big brother in the whole wide world, and I’m glad he’s mine!

No description available.

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

Epistles from the Emperor: Vol. VIII


photo by Clarabelle Fields

We interrupt your usual monthly communication from the emperor to bring you an emergency missive!

Pay attention, readers, for this is an important message from his highness, Emperor Julius!

His highness is currently being held hostage and subjected to atrocious acts. Despite his power, he is currently unable to escape from this predicament. His highness requests assistance immediately. He does not know if he will survive. Should he survive, he will be a shadow of his former self, haunted by nightmares. He is suffering horrors he hoped never to experience. The Emperor is being given a bath!

This emergency missive comes from the dark depths of the bathroom where the bath is occurring. The brave emperor, despite his struggles, has managed to compose and send this message out to all of his loyal followers:

Dearest subjects, this was an utterly unnecessary atrocity! I am not guilty of the things they claim — I hadn’t gotten into anything I wasn’t supposed to! I was not so dirty that I needed a human-enforced bath, and certainly not one with cat shampoo! I was fine, I could have taken care of things myself.

Baths are for Dog, not me! Dog gets them frequently, since he rolls in mud and other unspeakable things. But baths are not for me, not for cats, and especially not an Emperor, even if he has in fact gotten into things he wasn’t supposed to get into.

What an insult! They will pay dearly for this once they have unhanded me. Of all the things you could subject a cat to, a bath is by far the worst.

Lies and slander! It’s all lies and slander! I might have been dirty, but I didn’t need a bath!

My servants will regret their decision, mark my words!

Until next time — assuming I live to tell the tale.

Signed,

Emperor Julius

Emperor Julius, despite his claims to contrary, did survive his bath

Epistles from the Emperor: Vol VII


photo by Clarabelle Fields

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,

Emperor Julius

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