The cat came howling at her window in the middle of the night. It became part of her nightmare, and then when she woke the howling was still there.
Looking outside the french doors, she saw a scrawny, filthy, injured cat, not a kitten, but not full grown. His voice was full grown. He apparently wanted in, so, awake anyway, she let him in and watched to see what he would do.
If his coat followed the color of his ears, he was probably a Siamese, though he was too dirty to tell the body color. He'd been hurt on his left hip and he limped - regally, not wanting attention, but annoyed that his leg didn't work right.
The cat strolled in, owning the night world, and went to the bathroom. Hopping up on the counter, he yowled, apparently wanting the water turned on. Maxie turned the tap and the cat sipped thirstily. When he'd had enough he jumped down and went to a corner of the bathroom.
Maxie had found a filthy dish there earlier and wondered why it was there. Now she knew. This cat somehow belonged here and she'd thrown out his food dish.
She went to the kitchenette and fixed a bowl of milk and torn up bread. She could tell he didn't like it, but he was too hungry to turn it down. When he had emptied the bowl, he made a chirping sound like brrripppp and flopped down on the seat of the reading chair. Once settled he began grooming himself.
Maybe by morning she'd know what he really looked like. Or not. Right now Maxie was feeling tired, very tired. She locked the french door and crawled in bed. It was nice having a little company, even if it was only a dirty cat.