The Cay Summary
When World War II breaks out, eleven-year-old Philip Enright leaves the island nation of Curaçao with his frightened mother. Their ship is torpedoed by German submarines, and Philip is blinded in the attack.
- Philip finds himself stranded at sea with an elderly black man named Timothy and a cat named Stew Cat. Eventually, the group drifts toward an island in Devil's Mouth, where they build themselves a hut. For two months, the group lives together, fishing along the cay, or coral reef.
- However, life on the island is complicated by Philip's racism. As a young white man, Philip feels little sympathy for the older Timothy, and he must learn to set aside his prejudices in order to co-habitate. Eventually, he and Timothy strike up a friendship.
- After a big hurricane hits the cay, Timothy dies of exhaustion. Emotionally wrecked, Philip buries Timothy in a small grave. Philip and Stew Cat are later rescued by a navy vessel. Philip undergoes surgery to correct his blindness.