Jerry Coyne (the cat) is ill

Reader Gayle Ferguson, who has adopted an abandoned litter of kittens, named the sole male (a ginger tom) Jerry Coyne.  Unfortunately, Jerry was too greedy in drinking his milk, and appears to have aspirated some into his lungs. That caused an infection, which worried me no end. But Gayle, who took him to the vet (her vet bills must be huge!), reports that things are looking up, and she enclosed a picture of my namesake:

Jerry Coyne has a respiratory infection. I gave him a dose of antibiotics at 5pm and another at 8pm and he seems less lethargic and more playful again.  It is awful to hear him sneezing and coughing and rasping when he purrs—hopefully that will be on the mend tomorrow.  I attach a new photo of him.



  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Oh no! I hope kitteh gets better! He looks a lot like my only cat I had, Fred (when I was 5). After Fred I developed allergies. Stupid immune system.

    • Merilee
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      My current kitteh’s a black Fred, but my vet has an orange Fred. I believe I’m gradually developing a kitty allergy but I am studiously ignoring it.

    • still learning
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I’m allergic to cats too, but 10 mg of Loratadine every day takes care of the problem. And I figure constant exposure will bully my immune system into submission!

  2. Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Bientôt mieux. And slow down on the noms!

  3. Lianne Byram
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Sweet photo. Hope he gets well soon.

  4. david middle
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    get well jerry!!

  5. JBlilie
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Poor little beastie! Looks to be on the mend. Well done Gayle.

  6. still learning
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Nursing diagnosis: Eyes clear, no drainage, no nasal drainage, appears alert and feisty. Yup, he’s doing well.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Now this is a reassuring comment!

  7. Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Sorry to read!

    Gayle, if you don’t already have pet health insurance, you might seriously want to consider getting it. Your vet can recommend a carrier, but I personally can’t praise Pets Best highly enough.



    • rareflightlessbird
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      I’m in New Zealand. My two permanent cats are insured. Thankfully vet bills for minor things are not too horrendous here (though they do add up). Yesterday cost $41. I am thinking of starting a fund for Jerry Coyne, as he will need shots, neutering and microchipping before he goes to his new home. Multiply that by 5 kittens and it gets expensive! They will eventually be registered at and hopefully the vet bills will be picked up by the new families, who pay a fee to adopt a cat/kitten.

      • Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like you’ve got a good handle on the situation. And don’t be afraid to lean on the human Jerry Coyne for publicity! Worst he can do is say, “No,” and I don’t think that’s physically possible for him….


  8. jwthomas
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Despite its traditional association with cats, milk is not a good diet for kitties, at least not cows’ milk. Perhaps at Jerry II’s age it’s unavoidable but I hope Gayle can shift these guys to a soft food diet as soon as practical.

    • Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Knowing Gayle and her concern for animals, I strongly suspect she is NOT giving them cow’s milk. And they are already eating other types of food. You should probably ascertain what these cats are drinking before you level a criticism.

      • rareflightlessbird
        Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Kitties are on a powdered milk formula designed for baby animals. But they are weaning at the moment and moving on to solid food.

  9. Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Get thee well, little orange fluffy one.

  10. Taskin
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Get well soon, Ginger Jerry!

  11. Diane G.
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Oh noes! Gayle you’re a hero–these little rug-rats must demand huge chunks of your time. Hang in there, Jerry C!

    • rareflightlessbird
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Don’t tell Massey University that I’ve barely been doing my job for nearly 2 weeks now!

  12. Maria
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Get well, Jerry Coyne Kitteh!!

  13. Matt Bowman
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Awww such a cute little guy. Hope he gets better soon.

  14. Posted February 11, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Oh, if only all evolutionary biologists were so cute and fluffy.

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