To the guys on the block, J.T. is the kid who stole the radio out of the red convertible before they could get to it. His neighbor, Mrs. Morris, declares him a first-class nuisance. His mother is bewildered -- "He's just gone bad, that's all.... Stealin' and lyin' and I don't know what all." But all the sensitivity, responsibility, and care of which ten-year-old J.T. Gamble is capable emerges when he finds an old, one-eyed, badly hurt alley cat. J.T. takes on a new dimension as he lavishes all the love he is unable to express to people around him on the battered cat he has found in the junk-filled empty lot.