Edgar Allan Poe — 1809–1849
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I named her Annabel Lee because I like the rhythm of the poem. I love rhyming poetry. She was a failed foster cat. She sticks close by me all day, and when I’m working on my computer, she lays on the printer next to it. She’ll pat me on the cheek in the middle of the night. That’s sign language for wake up and pet me. Last night I thought I had killed her.
We have mosquitos here in Mazatlan. It’s nothing like the tropical areas of Mexico, but we do have some. I hate the critters. Last night, there was one in the living room that bit me four times. I put Annabel and Desi in my bedroom and shut the door. Then I put on a mask, got the Baygon aerosol insecticide, and sprayed the living room the way I’d spray air freshener. I ran to the bedroom and closed the door.
The only problem was I couldn’t get an Internet connection with the door closed because the modem is in the living room. I waited a while and thought the spray would have settled and opened the bedroom door. After a while, I noticed that Annabel wasn’t around. She usually sleeps on my printer while I’m working on the computer.
I’m starting to think maybe the bug spray killed her. I searched the living room, no Annabel Lee. I searched my bedroom, no Annabel Lee. I searched the spare bedroom and bathroom, no Annabel Lee. Later, before I went to bed, I searched again, no Annabel Lee. I went to bed and turned off the light, certain that she’d jump up on the bed like she normally does, no Annabel Lee.
The next morning Annabel didn’t slap me in the face to wake me up for feeding time. I got up, thinking this is serious. I poisoned my cat. After searching all over the house and not finding her, I decided she crawled into some nook and died. I figured I’d find her when her corpse started smelling.
Feeling depressed, I decided Desi, and I would go to Starbucks for our morning coffee. I opened the closet to get my clothes, and Annabel Lee jumped out in cat fashion and demanded breakfast.