Going Home with a Cat and a Ghost is a fictional novel about life's complexities for Judy Howard: liberated enough to drive forward in her RV, yet still imprisoned by her 40-year-old past when she was drugged, raped, and had an illegal abortion.
Judy Howard, a typical sixteen-year-old growing up in the Midwest in 1965, is naive and shy, with a crush on the high school's "James Dean, Bad Boy" named Brad. As Judy and Brad flirt with their desires for one another, life is easy, until Judy is drugged and date raped on a Saturday night in the roller rink parking lot.
Her "Bad Boy" crush, Brad, rescues her after the crime and arranges for an illegal abortion. The results changed their lives forever. The drug preventing Judy from knowing her attacker causes her to live in fear. The guilt of the abortion drives her to accept a college offer in California.
Judy flees to the west coast in an attempt to escape her shame, guilt and fear, but is unable to leave her nightmares and regrets in Illinois. She marries and makes a life for herself for forty years but is haunted by memories of Brad, nightmares of the rape and constant regrets, and questions of, "What if?"
The opportunity to confront her lifelong question of, "What if..?" arises when her husband dies and Brad invites her to their 40th high school reunion.