The team at Palmetto Animal League fondly refers to longtime feline residents as “Whiskers in Waiting.”

“Our facility provides a home-like environment for abandoned cats, but it could never be a substitute for having a family of their own,” said PAL President Amy Campanini. “Some of our adult cats have been here for three or more years.” 

One of these cats, Star, has been sitting at the shelter for a staggering 2,152 days and counting. At nearly 6 years old, she has spent her entire life at PAL, waiting and hoping that one sweet day, her luck will change.

True to her name, Star thinks she runs things at PAL and likes to make sure she is the center of everyone’s attention in a sweet and playful sort of way. 

“We know their names, personalities and what makes them happy,” said volunteer Phyllis Willever. “Each cat is unique with special qualities that will make them a wonderful companion. These Whiskers in Waiting have a lot of love to give!”     

For years, Willever came by twice a week to spend time with the cats before the pandemic forced PAL to largely pause their volunteer program.

“The hardest part is not being able to see our volunteers, supporters and other good friends on a regular basis,” Campanini said. “COVID-19 has meant limited access to our extended PAL family and the animals miss these daily interactions.”

So, special needs cats like Star (PAL’s self-appointed guarder of the microwave) miss out on the socialization visits they enjoy so much, making their lengthy stay at PAL’s No Kill Adoption Center even more difficult for staff to see.

“It’s heartbreaking to say goodnight to cats like Star every evening knowing if they were just lucky enough to find a real home, they would finally understand true happiness,” said PAL Adoption Specialist Sally Dawkins.

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, and so many whiskers still waiting, maybe the luck of the Irish will shine down on PAL’s long-stay pets.

To help celebrate the holiday, PAL is offering a $1 adoption fee for adult cats March 15-20. With a little luck and a lot of love, Campanini hopes to send as many animals to caring homes as possible.       

“We will never give up until the wait is finally over for all our beloved Whiskers in Waiting,” she said.

Learn more about Star and PAL’s other adoptable pets at To schedule a meet and greet, call 843-645-1725.    

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.