Visitors to our shelter get a grand greeting when they walk through the front door. Yes, of course, our staff are the cream of the crop. But this time we’re talking about our glorious felines, four of whom have taken the lobby under advisement and spend their days making sure everything runs as smoothly as—well, as a cat. All four are available for adoption and each of them is a unique being with a whole lot to offer. The next time you’re in our neighborhood, stop in and see what they’re up to.

Collin is usually sleeping on the desk by the window, and while he has gotten better about using the laptop keyboard as a mattress, he chooses to slumber there on occasion just to show us that he hasn’t forgotten. Collin came to the shelter as a stray in 2004 and has been here ever since (with a few interruptions). He is a terrific addition to staff and he has a very important job: He helps us find out if dogs like cats by letting the dogs get close to him. Not to worry—everything is done under strict supervision, as we don’t want Collin scratching his new best friend forever or aforesaid BFF doing even worse to Collin. Collin is a mixer, and he loves all the activity at the shelter, especially the attention he has come to feel is his due. And he’s right. He is a unique being with a not-unique passion for treats. He’s available for adoption, but he does have some medical issues and is on a special diet—which, fortunately for all concerned, includes treats, even if limited.

Buddy is our Box Boy and can often be found napping in one of several boxes he has managed to appropriate for himself. He should wear a little sign saying ‘listen up or else,’ as he has developed a unique way of making his wishes known, especially when he is hungry. The strong but silent type, he eschews the standard meow and swats at whatever leg is closest, and he can keep up this friendly persuasion until he gets what he wants. Buddy came to us in November 2010 and lived in one of the cat rooms until he started to, uhm, pack on the pounds. Now as part of his weight-loss plan he roams the shelter during the day and sleeps in his own room at night with just the right amount of food, which is not too much. Luckily, he has not lost any of his personality, of which he has plenty, and he’s available for adoption with one proviso: You must promise him you will give him treats, though not to wretched excess.

Mulder is a recent arrival in the lobby. This beautiful boy, who has the silver-gray coat and the enigmatic gaze of the Russian Blue who was so obviously out on a limb in his family tree somewhere along the line, came to us as a stray in January 2011 and, like so many of the abandoned creatures whom we are so lucky to have in our care on their way to a new life, started eating too much. We let him out of his room to get some exercise, and for the pleasure of his company. Somehow he injured the tip of his elegant tail, and the vets had to remove part of it. He is healed now, and much happier, and can be found often in the laundry room, where he directs operations (when he is not napping). He has made it clear to us that any home he goes to must have at least one sinfully comfortable sofa where he can lounge.

Our gorgeous girl Isabelle made her way to the shelter back in 2005, and why she has been here ever since is a mystery to us. Perhaps it was because she was quite shy and a little withdrawn, but just recently she has shown an active interest in joining the Lobby Loafers, so we let her. When we open the door to her room first thing in the morning, she races down the hallway to her station. She loves to hang around with whatever dogs are in the lobby, and she loves it even more when a friend brings treats for her. She likes to be petted, though on her terms, but she doesn’t always care to be picked up. Isabelle’s favorite toy in the world is her laser light, and all we have to do is jingle the chain attached to it and she lights right up. She is never happier than when chasing that little point of red light, and she chases it everywhere: up and down the hall, up walls, under desks and around in circles. (Sometimes we wish we could be that happy!) Suggestion to her new owner: Lay in a large stock of laser lights.

On our major wish list: Kuranda beds for our cats; a snow blower; a covered bin to hold our recycling containers; a four or six-foot folding table; an E-Z Up pop-up tent; a van or a wagon to take our animals to and from the vet; a Keurig coffeemaker for the staff.

Please stop in and see us and our astonishing array of animals at 146 Camden St. in Rockport. We’re open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and our website at crarl.org is never closed! And thank you, as always, for your caring and support.