I got Lakshmi during September, 2008. She was living in a small tree in front of a house across the street from a school yard. I had been feeding her since about May, 2008. She was very thin, but began gaining weight immediately.
During September 2008 I decided to bring her home.
By November she stopped eating altogether. I took her to our vet who eventually performed extensive exploratory surgery which discovered cancer had spread to lymph nodes throughout her body. A biopsy at the time discovered deformed white cells and cancer in the lymph nodes.
I took her to an oncologist in December 2008, who diagnosed intestinal lymphoma and put her on Prednisone and Leukeran, a chemotherapy agent. She died today after 51 months on Leukeran, which ties the record for longevity on that agent.
In the meantime, she developed stomatitis, a severe inflammation of the mouth and gums of unknown causation. After fighting it for a year, she stopped eating altogether during January of last year. At that point we had a feeding tube put in directly into her stomach through her stomach wall.
Then two weeks ago she was diagnosed with diabetes. She was down to 5 lbs., 11 oz, from her original weight of 8 lbs, 8 oz. She was so weak she could barely take 8 steps. The last 3 days she could no longer jump up on my chair. She was getting so feeble her hind feet got caught in the dress she wore to protect the stomach tube and she wet all over herself. Some days she would just poop on the floor where she lay and not move away.
Today, I could see she was ready to go. The vet said to give her up to two weeks to see if she got any better on insulin; instead, she got worse.
So today I took Lakshmi to our vet, Dan Reimer, at Adler Pet Hospital, accompanied by Deeya, who took two photos. for Lakshmi's devotees.
Lakshmi had the most beautiful death imaginable. She was placed on a very large folded towel for comfort.
First Dr. Reimer gave her an anesthetic to make her go to sleep in about 5 minutes, and then into a very deep sleep. I was looking her in the eyes the entire time she went to sleep and was asleep.
Five minutes later he and an assistant came in, shaved her left rear thigh and injected about 1 cc of whatever he used for euthanasia.
She was pronounced dead a few minutes.
She was utterly peaceful throughout the whole process, totally surrendered and ready for death.
Both Deeya and I cried at several points during the process, but Lakshmi was entirely at peace and in no pain. She will be cremated and join her 12 other brothers and sisters on our fireplace.