From the looks of the muddy tire ruts in the yard, they’d been there recently. The screen door on the back porch had new holes in it, and as she stood there surveying the detritus strewn everywhere, hands on her hips, a dirty grey kitten climbed out through one of them effortlessly; now the kitten was rubbing up against her ankle and crying beseechingly, hungrily. She stepped onto the porch and let herself in through the unlocked back door, the kitten at her heels. Dishes were stacked high in the filthy sink, and what was left of breakfast had not been cleared from the table. The squat refrigerator was once a color, but what? Hard to discern through decades of blackened handprints; but there was the artwork she’d brought home from school so many years ago, still held fast to the front of it with old alphabet magnets. She raised a plastic bottle of dish soap and surveyed its contents through the single bulb burning in the middle of the ceiling. It was enough, she assessed, if she added a little water to it. She tossed the kitten a crust of toast, and turning back to the sink, pushed up her sleeves, opened the tap, and began to work. They’d be back soon, and she’d have some explaining to do.