Two very special thank you’s this week: The first to the very special people who serve as foster parents for our pregnant cats or mother cats with kittens, taking them into their homes and looking after them until they are old enough to come back to the shelter and be adopted into loving homes. It is very important that cats be socialized when they are tiny kittens. It’s said that cats are closer to the wild cats that were their ancestors than dogs are to the wolves that were theirs, so it is vital that they be exposed to loving and civilizing influences as soon as possible. We’ll bet anything that far and away the majority of cats that are dearly loved in this world were socialized as kittens, and we are very appreciative of the kind people who help us in this way. By the way, we can always use more foster parents. If you’re interested, please call our shelter manager, Laura Stupca at 236-8702. Don’t quote us, but we think fostering kittens is a little like looking after other people’s children: At the end of the day, they go home to bother-and, truth be told, delight-someone else.

Very special thanks too to those of you who volunteer to walk our dogs so faithfully. Dogs need exercise just as much as kittens need socializing and we wouldn’t be surprised to find that there are people out there who need just as much exercise as dogs do. We’ve got just the four-legged ticket for you! And we guarantee that some of your happiest hours can be spent walking a dog. Thanks again to those of you who already volunteer your time and caring, and we hope to hear from those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure.

The second annual CRARL Pound Lock-Up is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, at Peter Ott’s on Bay View Street. You know the drill: You are sure to have friends among the miscreants who will be behind bars that evening, so you’re sure to get a phone call from them asking you to bail them out. You can be generous and nip their suffering in the bud; you can be parsimonious and spend many happy hours imagining them languishing in stir. We know what we’d do, and we bet you do too. Thank you, Michael Roy, our board member who is chairing the event, and Peter Masin-Peters, our gracious host.

Don’t forget to stop by the shelter and pick up a fabulous community calendar. We’ve already given most of ours away, and we’re saving the rest for Christmas, though why we shouldn’t give people presents before Christmas, or any time we want, has always been a mystery. As for the calendars, just make sure you give them before Jan. 1. Next week we’ll include a list of the many stores in town that have offered to give the calendars counter space. Thanks, guys.

October is National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, as we said earlier, and you already know all the reasons why you should adopt a shelter dog-though, like Christmas, you needn’t wait until a special month to do so. We have, as always, some glorious dogs whom you have to see to believe. And you know where they are.

October is also the month for our cat special Fall for Felines. The adoption fee for all cats and adolescent cats is half-price through the end of the month, and they come with the full boat: spayed or neutered and shots all up to date. No, kittens are not part of the deal, but that’s because you really can’t put a price on these fantastic creatures (though we do, of course). We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: This is priceless love that money can buy.

More thanks, this time to all of you who use www.GoodSearch.com as your search engine. Every time you do, you should hear the tinkle of coins as they fall into our pockets. And another way to help is to designate the refunds for your returned bottles and cans for CRARL. We just bundle everything into a big black garbage bag (and it is amazing how much you can drink without really thinking about it) and drop it off at the bottle place. The people there are very good about making sure everything designated for us comes to us and we thank them, and you too, for this thoughtfulness.

We need canned cat food, paper towels and paper plates. Well, we need a lot more than that, but these are at the top of our wish list. Thank you, everyone who responds to our plea. You are at the top of our list.

Here are some of our splendid residents who would like-and who truly deserve-a loving forever home:

Charlie is an older gentleman with impeccable manners and a loving disposition that needs to be matched with a loving home. He is a fine figure of a cat, a truly special guy who will light up your life. We love Charlie, and so will you.

George arrived as a stray, and we bless the day he found us. We think he must have spent a lot of his young life outdoors, as he is definitely an indoor cat and likes nothing better than being comfortable and warm. We’ll bet he’d love your lap, and you’ll love him.

J.J. is a very energetic Jack Russell, and if you know Jack Russells you know that means he is hyper-charged. We think he’d be happiest with people who already have some experience with this special breed. He loves to play fetch, and he is particularly good at, and very fond of, taking people for walks. He is nothing but muscle and bone and beautiful face, but he would prefer a home where he was not only Only Dog but Only Small Child, as he doesn’t have much to say for other dogs or small children.

Please visit us at the shelter at 146 Camden St. in Rockport from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. And our Web site at www.crarl.org is never closed! Thank you!