Even the bright seaside village of Molena Point has been hit hard by the economic downturn, bringing a rash of foreclosures in which many residents are abandoning their family pets. While feline P. I. Joe Grey's human friends join together to care of the starving cats, a suspicious fire leaves a twelve-year-old boy homeless. The body of his alcoholic guardian is discovered in the smoldering ruins, causing Joe to wonder if escape was really impossible for the elderly woman.
Meanwhile, a self-invited houseguest descends on the Damen household with her two children, claiming to have no money and nowhere else to go. But Joe Grey soon uncovers her relationship with a group of real estate agents who are involved in skimming cash through unsavory practices. Also uncovered are bloodstains in a vacant building, leading the cats to form a connection among a missing real estate agent, a homeless woman, and the fire. Then the houseguest's cat arrives, bringing with him a number of answers-but could he himself be the answer to tortoiseshell Kit's dreams of one true love with whom she can share her wildest adventures?