Goodbye Dr. Ralph, hello Stanley

On this day, 5 years ago, the world said goodbye to Dr. Ralph Stanley, one of the greats of bluegrass music.

Maybe two weeks later, I joined my girlfriend at the time at the county animal shelter one summer afternoon, as she wanted to adopt a kitten.

As she and her mother made the rounds of all the tiny, furry, playful kittens in the cat room at the shelter, I — exhausted from a hot day at work — found a chair toward the other side of the room and kicked back with a nap in mind.

As I relaxed, a black and white kitten, a few months older than all of the kittens being fawned over across the room, made his way up onto my chest, curled up, and proceeded to join me in my nap.

After picking out a kitten, my girlfriend decided she would take home two, also selecting the kitten curled up asleep and purring on my chest.

There was no way, she said, we could leave him. After all, he had “picked me.” We had no choice but to pick him.

When it came time to give him a name, Stanley was the choice.

I don’t see Stanley anymore. He’s a victim of a relationship that didn’t last. And I don’t have any pictures of him to share. They were all on a hard drive that hard crashed about a year and a half ago.

But I haven’t forgotten him. After all, he picked me.

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