Clever River! This altogether delightful young man is just the thing for someone who’s up the creek without a paddle. Look at those paws! He could get you home in a jif, and how wonderful it would be if your home were his home. River, who is about 2 years old, is one of the sweetest, friendliest and most affectionate fellows we’ve ever seen, and that slightly quizzical look on his face says to us, “Why don’t I have a home yet?” Stop by to meet him. You’ll lose your heart to this special guy — but you’ll get a couple of giant white paws in return!

Oreo, like River, is a sweet and friendly boy who often gets overlooked because he is one of our many chiaroscuro (that would be black-and-white for those of you who have not been keeping up with this column) cats. We don’t know why there seem to be so many black or chiaroscuro cats in the place, but we can tell you from long observation that they have a little something extra in the way of personality — perhaps to make them stand out.

In any event, we are spotlighting these darlings in our Black Tie Adoption Special, and through September all black or black-and-white cats older than 5 months old are available for adoption without a fee — we’re asking for a donation instead. And of course they have been spayed or neutered and are current on their rabies and distemper vaccines. We ourselves never contemplated having either a black or a chiaroscuro cat, but now we have one of each, and they are the delight of our heart and loved by all who know them.

Mark your calendar for this year’s “Shop for the Cause” event Saturday, Sept. 21. We’ll have more details next week on this annual happening, so stay tuned for details. And don’t forget that Christmas is just around the corner (well, a couple of corners) and this event offers a great opportunity to get a head start on the holiday,

We need volunteers to take our cats to three local banks Tuesday through Friday. The people at KeyBank and Camden National Bank in Camden Market Square and Camden National Bank in downtown Camden are our partners in this important effort; many of our adoptions start when a customer sees a cat at one of the banks. The routine couldn’t be easier: Pick up the cats at the shelter around 9 a.m. and take each to one of the banks, where you set up the cage (floor mat, litter box, food and water, name tag and toys). Then around 2:15 or 2:30 p.m. you pick them up (reversing the set-up procedure) and get them back to the shelter by 3 p.m. We ourselves have been doing this for a few months now, and it is sheer delight to spend time with kittens and cats and to see how popular they are with the people at the bank and the customers. And there is nothing more fun than getting them back to the shelter in the afternoon and finding that one of them has been adopted by someone who saw her or him in the bank! Call our splendid shelter manager Laura at 236-8702 if you’re interested in aiding this effort.

On our wish list, as always: dry cat food, non-clumping cat litter, paper towels, bleach and laundry detergent.

Fall is on its way, and we would love to see many of our sweethearts in a home of their own before the snow flies. And if you can’t adopt, spend some time playing with the kittens or taking a dog for a walk or just giving with one of our adult cats some TLC. You, and they, will be glad you did. We’re at 146 Camden St. in Rockport and open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Our phone number is 236-8702 and is never closed! And thank you, as always, for your caring and support.