Looking at the photo of our darling Duchess, we wonder why all black-and-white cats don’t get together and occupy Wall Street — Sorry! That was from another project we were working on — get together and petition to be recognized as a separate breed of cat to be known Chiaroscuro, the lovely Italian way of saying light and dark, or white and black. Think how superior it would be to say to your friends with their Maine coons and their Bichon Frises (translated as “curly lap dog,” by the way), “Well, our cat is a Chiaroscuro,” or perhaps, “We were so lucky to find a Chiaroscuro at our local animal shelter.”

Our point is that for some reason black-and-white cats — Nonsense! Chiaroscuro cats! — seem to be the victims of some kind of discrimination that extends to all-black cats as well, which is utter drivel because anyone with a black cat knows that that night-like exterior betokens an exceptionally loving and mischievous character that really isn’t often found to that degree in cats of color. And we think that if you stopped in and met some of our Chiaroscuro creatures (of course you will have to pronounce it correctly: Key-aro-scu-ro, with the emphasis on the third syllable, and spell it correctly too, which we think won’t hold anyone up for very long), you would find that whatever you called them, these charming felines will make wonderful companions in a home of their own.

Our Peach, the same of that name, has a little chiaroscuro among her calico, and we think that’s what makes her the affectionate and gentle creature she is.

Despite the very odd weather with which we have been afflicted lately, thoughts of Christmas do start to pop into our head, accompanied by the dismaying realization that we have come farther from last Christmas than we have to go to next Christmas. Now that you know where we stand on Christmas, let us tell you about the perfect gift: a glorious “Dresden Plate” quilt pieced and donated by award-winning local quilt artist Paula Schuessler. We’re raffling this lovely example of expert handiwork and you can buy tickets at PAWS for $5 each. Imagine snuggling up under a Dresden Plate quilt with a Chiaroscuro cat! Maybe it does get better than that, but not by much, we think!

And while we’re talking about gifts, you can give our fur people the most wonderful gift of all: a home of their own and a loving family for them to look after. We are desperately grateful that all our special dogs and cats have a home at the shelter and are not out on their own in the mean streets, but there is not a one of them — or us! — that does not wish for and dream of a loving and lasting home for all of them. It is absolutely within your power to help us make our dreams and wishes come true.

There is a trio of very playful kittens hanging out at Loyal Biscuit in Belfast while they wait for a home to find them. Olive, Olivia and Oliver are putting on an amazing nonstop show of kitten antics. Stop by and join in the laughter.

We are still, and always, looking for foster families to add to our list. Our excellent foster families look after pregnant mamas or cats with kittens and help socialize them at this very important stage in their life. Show us a distressed cat and we’ll show you a cat that didn’t get the love and attention she or he needed early in life. Even if you don’t want to make a lasting commitment to an animal, helping them through this crucial part of their development makes them wonderful pets and companions for whoever does make them part of their lives. Our foster families are a very important and special part of the shelter protocol and we’d love to add you to the list. We supply everything but the love, so that’s really all you’ll need.

We always need, of course: paper towels, bleach, laundry soap, dish soap, non-clumping cat litter, dry cat food and dog treats and toys.

And a warm thank you to the people who have been leaving donations in the barrels at Hannaford. We couldn’t do whatever we do without your help and generosity.

Please take the time to drop by and see us and all our captivating creatures at 146 Camden St. in Rockport. We’re open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, our phone number is 236-8702 and pawsadoption.org is never closed! And thank you, as always, for your caring and support.