We usually don't talk much about kittens in our weekly column. It's not that we don't like them — who doesn't love those tiny, tumbling balls of fluff?

It's just that they're so cute, they're usually adopted before we get to know them. All year long, people call us asking about kittens, and often we urge them to "wait until kitten season," meaning springtime, when we typically experience a kitten "population explosion." This past spring, however, was the exception: we got all geared up for kitten season, and then received only a handful. And the few we did take in were scooped up practically within minutes of their arrival.

Recently, though, just when we thought kitten season was over, we suddenly found ourselves with more pregnant momma-cats than we could handle. As is our policy, we placed the moms with temporary, foster-care volunteers so they could give birth in a quiet setting and their vulnerable babies could grow and gain strength in a protected environment. Now, seven of the resulting kittens have come back to us in all their adorable, adoptable glory, and we're wondering where their adopters are.

Mindy and Manny have been with us since they were just seven weeks old. They were shy at first, so we understood why they weren't everyone's first choice. But now, almost three weeks later, the siblings are used to people, purr when handled, and are having a blast, playing with all the other fur balls in the room. Ideally, Mindy and Manny would find a family that's willing to adopt them both. But they'd probably be fine being separated, given calm surroundings and some time to adjust. If you are looking for a kitten, or better yet two, here's your chance to find bliss before this year's kitten season ends for good.

Of course, some pet lovers' dream of the ideal youngster is of the canine persuasion. Our Jax is a handsome boy that did not have the best start in life. Although he was loved, his owner had little time for him, and he spent his first months mostly in a crate. Now nine months old, he's still a puppy but no longer a bitty one. Knowing he needed room to run and play, his owner brought him to P.A.W.S., where once again, he spends most of his time confined (albeit in a kennel, not a crate). Although we suspect Jax has some hound in him, maybe mixed with Lab or Boxer, he is a calm fellow who enjoys relaxing, playing with toys, and hanging out with people. We hope he will find a home soon with a family that can show him how good life can be when he's not "behind bars."

If you're able to help us out with donations this week, we'd especially appreciate kitten chow, as the numerous kittens in our kitten room, and those still in foster care, eat like tigers! We also have larger mouths to feed, so canned wet food for adult cats would be welcome, too. Other items on our wish list include cat litter, laundry detergent, bleach, and dish soap. You can drop off your donations anytime at our location at 123 John Street in Camden

Questions about P.A.W.S., the animals in our care, or the adoption process? Please give us a ring at 236-8702 or check out our website, pawsadoption.org. As always, we thank you for your support.