“Ahhh.” Chilli Cat sighed happily as he snuggled deeper into his onesie. The log fire crackled merrily before him and his cup of hot chocolate was sweetly steaming.
“It’s nice to spend some time away from the big city,” he quietly said to himself. And Bambu Chalet, high up in the White Mountains, was his favourite getaway spot.
As Chilli Cat lifted the cup to his smiling lips, the door to his cabin slammed open! He gasped as the hot chocolate spilled everywhere. Luckily, he was wearing a llamaling wool onesie that was so thick and snuggly, he was protected from the burn. But the onesie wasn’t so lucky, Chilli Cat thought sadly, looking at the big brown stain on his tummy. “Well, this is a total DISASTER,” said an angry voice from the doorway. Chilli Cat turned to find… Ghurk the cucumber! “Ghurk!” he blurted out in surprise. “What are you doing in my cabin?”
“YOUR cabin?” Ghurk rudely replied. “Rubbish. The entire resort is fully booked. I’ve been told there’s a spare room here, so I’m moving in for the weekend.” Ghurk stomped upstairs to the spare bedroom. Behind him, a pair of cucumber guards hurriedly followed, though they couldn’t see past the stack of suitcases they carried. Chilli Cat watched them, baffled, as they tried to climb the stairs without bumping into each other.
When the staircase was eventually clear of clumsy cucumbers, Chilli Cat went to his bedroom to get changed out of his ruined onesie and go to sleep. A whole weekend living with Ghurk? He worriedly thought. Maybe it won’t be so bad. He fell asleep dreaming of cucumbers and hot chocolate puddles.
The next day went about as well as Chilli Cat expected. Ghurk was a terrible housemate who wasn’t used to sharing. When Chilli went into the kitchen looking forward to a morning muffin, all he found was crumbs. And when Ghurk left to go skiing, he didn’t shut the door, leaving Chilli Cat with a huge mound of snow that blocked the entire doorway. It took him two hours to dig a tunnel to the supermarket!
When evening came and the two of them were back in the chalet, Chilli Cat had had just about enough. Ghurk refused to turn down the heating, so the pair were lounging in sweltering warmth. Chilli Cat decided to make some rainbow burritos in the hope it would relax him. As soon as he started assembling the food, Ghurk appeared beside him. “What’s that you’re making, Munch Cat? It looks… colourful.” Ghurk glanced at the bright mix of peppers, tomato and corn, trying to look not interested.
“Just some rainbow burritos,” Chilli Cat said shyly. “You can… help me, if you like?” He held up a huge stack of tortillas. He was almost certain that Ghurk would refuse, but to his surprise, Ghurk grudgingly nodded and took the tortillas (although he nearly fell over from the weight of them!). The pair made a great team, and soon the burritos were sizzling in the oven.
There were more surprises to come. Ghurk actually sat next to Chilli Cat at the table, and only made one snide comment (“these burritos would be better with some guacamole.”). When Chilli Cat offered Ghurk a slice of cheesecake for dessert, he even accepted! Chilli Cat couldn’t believe it. Maybe in the far-away peace of the White Mountains, Ghurk could actually relax. Usually, he’d never spend so much time with us, Chilli Cat thought, thinking about his Munch Cat family. Unless he was trying to trick us…
But Chilli Cat didn’t want to think about that. He decided to try and relax with his new book and tucked himself into a comfy armchair with a bag of chilli zuffnuts. He looked over at Ghurk and couldn’t help but laugh. Ghurk was resting on the sofa, his nose in a copy of the same book! Ghurk heard the laughter and felt tense. Why’s he laughing at me? He thought angrily, slamming his book shut. In between little giggles, Chilli Cat held up his own copy. Ghurk couldn’t help but chuckle, too!
After a pleasant evening of reading, chatting and sharing too many chilli zuffnuts, the Munch Cat and the cucumber went to bed.
The next morning was a bright one, and the sun warmed the snow outside the chalet. Chilli Cat woke up and padded downstairs, rubbing his eyes sleepily. It was only when he reached the kitchen that he noticed how quiet it was. “…Ghurk?” He called, absent-mindedly nibbling a wildberry from a punnet on the table. Next to the punnet was a box with folded note on top.
Chilli Cat unfolded the note. There was one word written inside in green ink: Fammu. Chilli Cat unwrapped the mystery gift. Inside was… his fluffy onesie! But there was no chocolate stain to be found – no stains at all, in fact, and the soft wool smelled like star flowers. Chilli Cat breathed in the sweet scent and wriggled inside the onesie, beaming with joy. Chilli Cat munched his way through the punnet of wildberries as he watched the melting snow outside the window, and felt happy that his weekend had not at all gone to plan!