Orange Beard and his pal Hei Hei snuggle in the cat room at Palmetto Animal League Adoption Center.

Every so often a cat comes to Palmetto Animal League with all the attributes of a doting dad. It’s heartwarming to see these big male cats become father figures for tiny kittens at our Adoption Center. They can often be seen grooming or playing with kittens and teaching them the all-important skill of napping.

PAL rescued one of these special cats recently and he quickly became a staff favorite. Orange Beard is a fun-loving fatherly type who enjoys chasing his own tail and entertaining his kitten friends with silly antics.

“He gets the zoomies (unmistakable explosions of energy) so intensely that he spooks himself,” said PAL adoption specialist Sally Dawkins with a laugh. “It’s pretty funny to witness.”

PAL saved Orange Beard from an overcrowded shelter where his chances of making it out were slim. He was born with an eye defect and had been overlooked by adopters for months. In short, his time was running out, so PAL stepped in. 

Once he was settled safely and comfortably at PAL, Orange Beard formed a special bond with a kitten named Hei Hei, and he taught the little lad the absolute best things about being a cat: playing and relaxing.

“His name is Orange Beard, like a pirate, because of his eye,” said Dawkins. “He is more of a wacky, cargo shorts-wearing, socks and sandals kind of dad. There’s never a dull moment with him around!”

Orange Beard’s outgoing personality charmed a visitor who decided to adopt him and Hei Hei together, making them father and son for life.

“Orange Beard is special,” said Dawkins. “He has a father’s heart, and to see him with Hei Hei is to see love in its purest form. So, when they got adopted together, tears of happiness were definitely shed.”

In honor of Orange Beard, and in loving memory of her father, a generous PAL supporter is matching donations leading up to Father’s Day, June 20.

When you make a gift in honor or in memory of a special dad, every dollar you donate will be doubled to help rescue animals. Plus, PAL will send a Father’s Day eCard to your designated recipient.

Visit and click on “Double the Love” to give a Father’s Day gift that’s twice as meaningful. 

And, if you’re considering adopting a pet, call 843-645-1725 to schedule a visit to the PAL Adoption Center, located at 56 Riverwalk Blvd. in Okatie. These are lives worth saving. 

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.