The early cold snap this year causes our furry friends to seek warm places to sleep. The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard advises Islanders to keep garage, shed and barn doors closed to prevent your or your neighbors’ cats from getting inadvertently shut in. It is easy for a cold animal to find a way in, but nearly impossible for them to get out of a securely locked structure.

Blessings on our animal control officers. They regularly deliver stray pets to the shelter. The latest cat to seek asylum is a handsome black tom cat who has been checked out by the vet and appears to be around nine years old — that’s just a guess, but he is a middle-aged fellow, already neutered. Another stalwart and friendly male tiger, Sidney, has recovered from a neck injury and graduated to the cat room. He is lounging on a blue kitty sofa when he is not eating. Etta, the mother cat who is a kitten herself, is recovering after being spayed last week. She is a pale orange tiger. Then there are two young sisters, four months old. Pandora is mostly gray like a Russian blue. Her sister is charcoal gray and white with three distinctive spots on her nose. They have outgrown kittenhood, maturing into sweet companions for a lucky owner. Miss Kitty, who purrs when offered a gentle petting; Michael, a shy boy; Linda, who is black with startling green eyes; Homer, who has a coat the color of smoke; and Tux, in his formal black and white, are still awaiting new housing.

The two dogs currently under the shelter’s roof are a mother and son. Lady is a black cocker spaniel, Jack is part cocker and part — who knows, maybe Labrador? They have lived in a pen outdoors for their entire lives, but are surprisingly sweet and friendly. If anyone reading this is interested in adopting a small dog, there are two available who are living off the premises, at the Mail Room with Carla. One is a female Shih-Tzu who is silver and white, one a black Havanese male. They are best buddies and would like to be adopted together if possible. Anyone with knowledge of these breeds knows that they are trouble-free. They do not bark senselessly; they are house-trained; they do not chew up your slippers or your couch, and they are long-living with very few health problems. Interested parties can contact Carla directly at the Mail Room during business hours, 508-627-7704.

Shelter hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The shelter is closed Sunday and Monday. The telephone number is 508-627-8662.

Contributions are always gratefully accepted; the shelter is funded solely by donations. Please make checks out to The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard; the mailing address is P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.