Halloween is approaching, and already, we notice, a few of our four-footed friends are parading around in disguise.

Royce is a Chihuahua pretending to be a timber wolf. Striving to hold his own among several large dogs we welcomed from Georgia this week, he tips the scales at only 8 pounds, but that hasn't stopped him from appointing himself resident guard dog. All day long, Royce makes sure no one steals his food — and since he nibbles only a tidbit here and there himself, defending his stash is practically a full-time job. He also makes sure no bad people get to his kennel. He barks and growls at everyone who comes near, not yet understanding that there are no bad people at P.A.W.S. And he keeps an eye on the other dogs; when they go out for a walk and pass by his door, he makes himself look big and strong and warns them to stay away.

"These are my bed, my food, and my toys," his frantic barking seems to say. "Back off!"

But don't let Royce's bluster fool you. Underneath his ferocious demeanor, he's a grade-A cuddle bug. Give him people he trusts and calm surroundings without cats or other dogs, and he drops the disguise and becomes a sweet guy that wants only to sit on your lap, give you kisses, and roll on his back for old-fashioned belly rubs. Royce is hoping to find a home with someone who will forgive his Napoleon complex and appreciate him as the marshmallow he really is.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the building, we have a lap cat masquerading as a speed demon. Sometimes Ferrari is as fast as her name suggests. She has crazy spells when she careens around the room, chasing after toys, other cats, or her own shadow. But once that's out of her system, she jumps into your lap and reveals her inner snuggler. It's true that even when she's with you, she won't sit still; she wraps her body around you, hangs upside down between your legs, climbs around your neck. But it's all just a ploy to get your love and attention. This pretty young lady once lived with a large group of cats and had to compete for affection. Now, we'd love to see her find a home where she can be the main attraction.

Cat food, cat food, cat food! We can't say it enough: we need cat food — particularly the kind that comes in cans. We have so many cats to feed, and while a large bag of dry food holds us over for a few days, we feel it's important to give our felines a little moist food to help ensure adequate hydration. if you can help us by donating a can or two, a box, or a whole pallet of canned food, we and the cats would be so thankful. Our lobby is open 24 hours a day for drop-offs, but if you're able, please come by when we're open, so we can thank you in person. P.A.W.S. is at 123 John St. in Camden. We're open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from 11 to 3. Check out pawsadoption.org for our complete wish list and other info, or call us at 236-8702.