On any given day in the Beaufort County town of Dale, you’ll find David Blue and his rescue cats tending to their flowers. For many, gardening is a hobby, but for Blue and his cats, it’s a profession. He owns Farmer Blue, a 12-acre cut flower farm that supplies flowers to florists and event planners throughout the Lowcountry. 

“I grew up on a farm with lots of animals,” said Blue. “Every creature had a job, both dogs and cats. Our animals were well looked-after with vet care and good food, and each one had a job to do.” 

David has adopted five independent-minded cats from Palmetto Animal League. Each one prefers the freedom to roam over the comforts of a traditional home, making Blue’s flower farm their ideal sanctuary. 

“Most of my cats are female because, as the lore goes, male cats are lazy mousers,” explained Blue.

He chose the least adoptable cats at Palmetto Animal League, those who turned their noses up at PAL’s homelike cat rooms and instead appreciated the lofty feel of their warehouse. Blue’s flower farm needed the loyal presence of cats with a proven track record of deterring rodents, and the cats needed a place to call home.  

“I focus on sustainable, natural solutions to solving problems at my farm,” said Blue. “Cats are a way of keeping rodent populations to a minimum.”

His cats have an excellent work ethic (though they do require intermittent naps) and in return they only ask for food, water, shelter, and love from afar. 

“The cats will have spontaneous moments of affection where they might rub against a boot or pant leg, but only occasionally will they let me touch them,” Blue said. “However, these social interactions are becoming more frequent.” 

Blue understands it takes time for some animals to acclimate and trust humans, but a fondness between animals was almost instant at Farmer Blue. 

“The cats are very interested in my Labrador Daisy,” said Blue. “They interact nearly every day and it’s amusing to watch.”   

With a little creative thinking, five reclusive cats found their perfect home, happily drifting amongst the dahlias, tulips, and oleanders. Their story is a beautiful example of how non-traditional sanctuaries are saving lives. 

If you’re interested in adopting a working cat or a lap cat, visit the Palmetto Animal League Adoption Center located at 56 Riverwalk Blvd. in Okatie from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Learn more about PAL’s compassionate, no-kill rescue programs online at PalmettoAnimalLeague.org. 

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League. PalmettoAnimalLeague.org