MONIQUE BATSON — While still grieving our cat, it might be time for a happy little addition

Published 12:05 am Friday, January 7, 2022

It’s been five months and 20 days since I lost the four-legged love of my life. As some of you might remember, my sweet Simon died from kidney failure in July. His life began in my home and ended in my arms. And even though it’s been nearly half a year since he died, I still rush to close the front and back doors so he doesn’t slip out.

Not that he would have.

Simon had no interest in the outside world. You could leave the door open and he’d hang in the doorway watching the activity across the threshold with no intention of joining it.

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Once, he had apparently slipped out the back door late one night and I hadn’t noticed. The next morning, when I went into the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot, I could hear the strangest sounds coming from the back door. When opened, I saw Simon on the other side with eyes half the size of his head, crying as he ran back into the house. He accidentally gotten locked outside, and whatever happened that night traumatized him.

Following the TPC Explosion, he somehow got out and ran. And three months later, by the grace of God and a noticeable cauliflower ear, he was found.

But the hardest part of Simon’s death fell on my now-14-year-old, who was only 2 when the fluffy Main Coon joined our family. They grew up more like brothers than a boy and a cat. On the day Simon died, seeing my overly reserved son break down was quite likely worse than anything else.

It was my mom who first suggested getting the kids a kitten for Christmas. But, one, I wasn’t sure I was ready. And, two, I knew if we ever took in another cat, it would have to be a Main Coon. Their personalities are so different than any other cat I’ve ever known. They chirp more than meow, and they make great conversationalists. There wasn’t once that I ever asked Simon a question and he didn’t respond. Did we understand each other? Not at all. But I felt as if I had someone to talk to.

And as a single mom whose children alternate homes week to week, I spend seven days alone. It’s nice to have company on those days. And Simon was also more about lap napping than playing, so he wasn’t much of a nuisance. Instead he made for a great Netflix binge partner.

And so I started browsing the website for the Humane Society of Southeast Texas and ran across Simon. Or, at least, it might as well have been. Named Bob Ross, the shelter cat was practically identical to my late furbaby. And judging by his description, their personalities were similar, too.

“Bob Ross isn’t upset he’s with us at the humane society,” the description reads. “To him, it’s a happy little accident. Bob likes to strut around the office and show off his bobbed tail, or have his soft, long fur brushed. He’s a big boy, and may take up your whole lap! He tries to help us with paperwork from time to time when he isn’t too busy napping. Bob Ross will likely be found lounging in our office chairs, waiting for the good times to come.”

Bob is 5 years old, micro-chipped, and fixed; so for the most part he’s put his wild days behind him.

The bobbed tail would be an adjustment, as Simon’s long, fluffy tail was one of my favorite things about him. But he had a bum ear, so maybe it’s just not meant for me to have a cat with all its parts intact.

For a month now, I’ve been checking in on Bob Ross to see if he’s been adopted. And each time I look, I see he’s still there.

So this week I decided to pull the trigger, apply for adoption and, on Wednesday, learned I had been approved.

When I got home from work I showed my boys, my youngest of which was beyond excited. I told them not to get their hopes up as we’ve yet to establish whether our personalities mesh. But I’m not much worried about that at all.

Bob and I meet Friday, and with a little luck, I’ll be bringing home a happy (no so little) furbaby.


Monique Batson is the Port Arthur Newsmedia editor and can be reached at