She appeared on my doorstep, bedraggled and hungry. White matted fur, prickly burrs, taut skin stretched across fine rib bones. I spent hours picking through her coat, gently removing the thorny barbs. She didn’t wince or scratch, just sat on my lap; pale blue eyes studying me, purring satisfaction at my efforts. I bathed her gently, rubbed her dry with a fluffy towel. She lapped at the saucer of warm milk, nibbled at the ham I’d finely diced and placed on a silver dish. I was already planning my solitary days around her.
“I guess I’ll name you Hope,” I whispered.