Squiggie Mousenip's dad, Fred, has been missing for several weeks. The food at the Mousenip house is running low, and Squiggie feels responsible for providing for his mother and twin sisters, Kara and China. His first attempt to find food, with the help of his cousins, Ned and Carl, almost cost them their lives as the old barn cat, Jinks, was waiting for them. But Squiggie is determined!
Squiggie's mother sends him to bed without dinner as punishment for leaving his sisters alone while adventuring to the barn, which is off limits. His failure to find food hurts worse than the wound Jinks inflicted on his ear. Kara and China sneak into his room to tell him they love him and to see his injured ear and remind him of Mocha, the clawless cat who lives in Farmer Brown's house, another source of food. Squiggie decides that a clawless cat couldn't possibly catch him.
Serious about bringing food home, Squiggie ventures out on a stormy night. What he finds in Farmer Brown's house makes his heart flutter, and it will take all of Squiggie's bravery and ingenuity to accomplish his mission.