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Spring Festival

The first thing Bunbina did when she woke up the next morning was opening the double doors to the terrace to digest the morning vibe of the city. Fresh air filled her lungs making her feel refreshed and exhilarated.

She grabbed a homegrown carrot directly from one of the pots on the picnic table and checked todays forecast in her weather app. It was going to be sunny all day in LLC but foggy in Misty Outpost.

How she had missed her apartment since she moved to Misty Outpost. The buildings in Lucky Lawn City was one or two stories taller than those in Misty, and every house had an individual look and set of colors. Bunbina had her two-storey apartment painted in seashell to match the color of her fur. The walls on the inside were painted lavender blush and Ivory. The cafe in the bottom of the house was mainly white as well, but with a withered sign in cyan that read “Washing Dishes & Soften Hands Game Café”. The café used to be a place to go and play games, but turned into an open mic comedy club where anyone could come and try out their latest jokes.

The people passing by on the grass covered streets outside her building had their heads buried in maps trying to find the center of the city that also was the location of the spring festival. Bunbina could see the Cherry Street Avenue from her terrace only four blocks away. Most of the stands were already open for business and she could see kids running around with balloons.

Pao gently opened the door after a shy knock without entering the room. “Bunbina?”

“I’m out here, on the terrace! Come and join me!”

Pao slowly walked through the bedroom, past the kitchen isle and out on the terrace. His beautiful blue eyes opened wide when he saw Bunbina’s collection of bamboo. “Are these mainly for decoration or food?” he asked while inspecting the bamboo leaves.

“Have as much as you want! I invited you for breakfast, didn’t I?”

“As much as I enjoy cooking, I must admit that bamboo is my favourite dish.”

“Where are Alexander and Alphonso? Still sleeping?”

“They went out to explore the city before I woke up. They left a note. They will meet us at the cookie stand around noon, it said.”

“Let’s sit here and chill for a while and see if we can spot them ‘exploring’.” Bunbina laughed and poured up two glasses of water. She imagined that they ate the city empty of grass like shameless vultures, which ironically wasn’t that far from the truth.

At the same time on the other side of town, the two Alpacas were resting at a bridge by the bay watching animals in festive outfits passing by. They had wallowed around the city feasting on fresh grass until their bellies nearly exploded.

“I love this city!” Alphonso bursted out. I wouldn’t have to sell my fleece for a living if I lived here where grass grow free on the streets.

“I know, right!” Alexander agreed. “But you would still need to go to the barber.”

“Yeah! We’re lucky like that.”

The sky suddenly darkened, as going from day to night in a second. An unfamiliar sound of nightmare quickly approached the party. Only a cat would be able to distinguish the plethora of chatter, burble and wail that soaked the city in terror.

“What the heck is going on?” Alphonso hollered.

The animals all around them were screaming CAT ATTACK while running in all directions.

“I think we should think about heading back to the apartment.” Alexander stuttered. “Now!”

The alpacas ran towards the park against the stream of people. Bunbina’s apartment was on the other side of the park so they could either stay at the bay and be destroyed with the rest of the city or find shelter risking dying while trying.

When they reached the spot where they so peacefully dozed off the night before, they were in the eye of the disaster. Standing in a tunnel, still as death with flashing blue lights made it possible for the alpacas to see everything clearly. Thousands of hissing cats were flying in circular formations grabbing every flower from the trees and every cheerful object on the avenue. When a cat grabbed one of Pao’s cookie jars Alphonso caught it by its tail with his mouth and pulled it out of its orbit and catapulted right into Alexander’s fish pond with a majestic splash.

Everything was over in a few seconds and the cat pack disappeared leaving the avenue in a terrible mess.

The soaked cat in the pond rubbed the water out of its eyes in shock, happily discovering Alexander’s handmade colourful fishes from the pond stuck all over its black fur.

Alphonso ran over to the cat to interrogate it. “What just happened here?”

The cat grabbed a fish from the white patch of her head and admired it with sparkling eyes. “What a beautiful fish!”

“My cousin made it. You can’t have it!” Alphonso growled and slapped the fish out of the cats paw.

Children were weeping by the shock of the event. Alexander had joined them and cried like there was no end. Alphonso tried to calm his cousin. “Buddy… there there… it’s over now. We’re all safe.”

The cat came up to Alexander and hugged him. “Why are you so sad?” it said with a soft voice.

“He’s traumatised, can’t you see?” Alphonso shouted, causing Alexander to sob even louder.

The cat took a few steps back, ready to escape the scene.

“Stay right there, cat!” Alphonso ordered. The cat froze in pose staring at them with its big turquoise sparkling eyes wondering why. “You’re coming with us!”

Alphonso helped his cousin to get up on his feet and they slowly walked through the messed up streets all the way home to Bunbina’s house. Bunbina and Pao waited on the terrace worried sick but were relieved to see their friends safe and sound.

“You OK?” Pao shouted on the top of his lungs from the terrace as the alpacas and the cat came closer.

“The cookies are gone! They’re all gone!” Alphonso shouted back with anger and sadness.

“Not all!” The cat added and held up a jar. “I also have fish!” She said and held up a paw full of Alexander’s handcrafted fish in various colours.

“Oh hi there!” The panda replied. “We’re just happy you’re alive! Come up and drink tea with us!”

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