Shared by, Lindsay Thompson
Kashmir & Dino adopted me on December 26, 2006. Ever since I was a little girl, I’d loved black kittens, and was finally at a place in my life where it was right for me to adopt one. Except they weren’t kittens, and there were two of them. They were both so sweet, and I could not choose between them, so I adopted them both. From the minute they were together, they were best friends.
Dino had been found as a stray; the phone number on his microchip was disconnected. He was estimated to be two years old. Kashmir was a four year old owner surrender. I renamed them after my favorite music, Dean Martin and Led Zeppelin. Dino was a schmooze and purred the instant you looked at him, and Kashmir was the softest cat I’ve ever felt in my life. Their new names suited them perfectly.
For a few years, it was just the three of us and we were so happy together. Of course they had their moments, like when Dino chewed through a bag of Easter candy from my parents, and then laid on his “prize” until it all melted together in one chocolatey, foil-covered mess. I got used to Kashmir sleeping on my head every night. When I met my now-husband, he was apprehensive, but immediately bonded so closely with Dino that I think they liked each other more than they liked me.
In 2010, we adopted our dog, Sophie, through Pet Project Rescue. After a brief adjustment period, the three got along fine. Kashmir took turns snuggling with Sophie and Dino, and my heart exploded every time I saw them cuddled up.
In 2012, Dino began to display some unusual behaviors, most notably urinating on our living room rug. We took him to the vet, expecting that he had a urinary tract infection. After a quick exam, the vet did a blood test and concluded that Dino was diabetic! I’ve learned since then that diabetes is not unheard of in cats. We took this diagnosis in stride; two insulin shots a day and regular blood glucose monitoring became part of our life. True to form, Dino purred when I gave him his insulin, instead of running from the needle.
In 2015, we moved from our loft in Downtown Minneapolis to a rambler in the suburbs. Kashmir & Dino had windows galore and all the birdies and squirrels they could ever want to watch! Kashmir, by then 13 years old, was our “old lady” who loved to watch out the front window at the sunset. Dino loved to look out the back door at the bird feeder. We got him a leash and harness and let him join us in the backyard, where he would roll around in the grass for hours, purring the whole time, of course.
On the morning of January 16, 2016, Kashmir had a seizure at about 6am. She was sleeping on my pillow as always, and it woke me up. I knew immediately; she died within minutes. I am so thankful that it happened while we were home, so that I could be with her in her last minutes and know that she did not die alone.
I was concerned about Dino being lonely after losing his best friend, but his behavior only changed in one small way: he became even more affectionate. After Kashmir passed, he took over her spot on my pillow. At first I thought he was comforting me, but then I realized he was also comforting himself.
Dino’s diabetes had actually gone into remission during the spring, but he was eating less and less and on April 23, 2016, Dino became nonresponsive; I knew something was seriously wrong because he stopped purring. He was ready to be with Kashmir. We made the heartbreaking decision to let him go. Like we had with his sister, we held him in the last moments of his life.
As it seems to always happen, I found the most perfect cats in the world. That's every pet owner's story, and I'm no different. These two black cats cancelled each other out, because I was the luckiest person in the world to have them in my life. It was devastating to lose them both in such a short period of time, but it comforts me to know that they are together again, snuggling.
Earlier this spring, my husband and I were looking at flowers and plants for landscaping. I went over to admire some roses and realized that the very plant I had been drawn to was called a "Kashmir rose"--even spelled "the right way." It was a sign. I started bawling and had to bring it home. It's the perfect memorial for my sweet cats.
Here's the rose itself, and a photo of where it's planted, with our dog, Sophie laying by it. It's her new favorite spot in the yard.