Jerry Coyne, on drugs, put in halfway house, and then released to forever home

Well, we’ve seen Jerry grow up from a suckling to an 11-week-old adolescent, we’ve been with him when he lost his testicles, and today he was formally adopted.

Yesterday Jerry Coyne the Cat flew to the south island of New Zealand, and this morning was transferred to his new home. Gayle Ferguson, his Rescuer (and Rescuer of Four Other Kittens), drugged the little guy before his flight to calm him down, flew with him to Christchurch, where her parents live, and spent one afternoon cuddling and saying goodbye to the little guy before handing him off.

This morning Jerry went to his Forever Home to join the family of a colleague of Gayle who also has another cat.  Gayle documented the whole process with both photos and videos (below). The indented words are hers.

Getting ready to leave for the airport


Hoover taunts the captive


About to go…


Checking in. Finally, after ten minutes heated argument with Air New Zealand. Top Tip: if you ever take a pet on the plane, print out a copy of Air NZ’s cage requirements and bring it along to the airport to show the desk wench when you check in…


Arriving in Christchurch (no, they didn’t actually send him out on the conveyor belt…)


Hello Jerry!


Arriving at the half-way house:


Jerry, relaxing at the half-way-house in Christchurch






And I got these items this morning:

My last cuddly afternoon with little Jerry.


A video called “Last purrs with Jerry”, before he was taken to his new home:

Jerry’s new step-brother, Luka

Luka doesn’t look overly friendly!!


And here’s a video of Jerry exploring his new home. There are chickens, and of course Gayle worried—you can hear it on the video—that Jerry will get pecked.  But it sounds as if his new owners will at least call him “Jerry,” if not “Jerry Coyne.”



Still hiding!


I asked Gayle if Jerry was hiding in his new home. Her response:

He’s just a bit overwhelmed with all the new people and places in the last day and a half, so he tends to hide under couches and other furniture where he feels safe.  Yes, that’s his new home.  He didn’t hide the whole time I was there; he did some exploring and even a little bit of playing.  His new brother hissed at him and was then put outside.  Luka is apparently a laid-back cat and so they will probably eventually be fine together.  I have a video of him at his new home but haven’t uploaded it yet. He spent a lot of time sleeping on top of me today and purring.  I miss him terribly.

Good luck, my little namesake. Have a wonderful life—onward and upward! And watch out for those chickens!



And of course many kudos to Gayle for the enormous effort of saving Jerry and his Four Sisters, as well as for keeping us up to date on their fates (two females have yet to be adopted).


  1. Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Awww. Heart-wrenching, I’m sure. Excellent job with the transfer, though.

    (and still laughing at the title of the post)

    • Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      The first paragraph is pretty funny also!

      Feline Jerry looks to be in a good home replete with a larger version of himself (Luka seems calm, though begrudgingly tolerant). Here’s hoping the two remaining kitties get adopted soon.

  2. Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Dangit, I have something in my eye… *snif*

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Good luck feline Jerry and watch out for those chook chooks!

  4. Marella
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Good luck little Jerry.

  5. mordacious1
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    My older male cat is nicknamed “Bad Ass” because he likes to terrorize the other cats in the neighborhood and gets in fights a lot (usually wins them too). When my daughter brought home a new female kitten, I didn’t think things would go well. Soon after she arrived they started playing and are now best buddies. We’re starting to call the male “Ol’ Softy” now. Age mellows you I suppose, maybe I’ll try giving him a bath…no, I better not.

    • Sastra
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Older cats are said to adjust more easily to kittens than to new cats which are their own age or more. That makes sense, since they’re going to be concerned with status and dominance. Kittens are less of a threat from that perspective.

      I also like to think that mature cats find juvenile antics the cat version of ‘cute.’

      • mordacious1
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        That makes sense.

  6. Maria
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Good luck, Jerry! I hope Jerry’s new humans send us updates. I’m going to miss the little guy.

  7. Sastra
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Aw, good luck little kitty! We will miss you!

    It seems to me though that Jerry IS lucky. His new owners sound like sweet and caring people and what a fun house to live in! Another cat (who looks chill to me) AND toys AND chickens! A very satisfactory finish to the saga of Jerry Coyne, Kitten Extraordinaire.

    One funny little bit though is that in one of the videos we can overhear that wee Jerry was given some “Rescue Remedy” because “it’s supposed to calm him down. They probably don’t know what it is: it’s one of the Bach Flower Remedies.

    Heh. Would not make the real Jerry calm down — and probably had no effect on his namesake.

    • Gayle Ferguson
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it was Bach Rescue Remedy. I’m skeptical, and I’ve seen no evidence that it works on either myself or my other cats (but on the other hand, one of my cats appears resistant to *all* sedatives and anti-stress medications), but some people swear by it, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to try again.

      • Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        When Baihu was having some urinary tract problems a couple years ago (which have been completely cured by mixing lots of water in with his food), the vet prescribed a muscle relaxant of some kind that turned him into quite the happy drunk. Let me see if I’ve still got anything to remind me of what it was…

        …hmmm…I think it might have been prazosin, but alprazolam is another possibility. If you like, I can check back with Dr. Bastek and see if she can tell me.

        Whatever it was, it was definitely a controlled substance, prescription only, to be used for a very limited time, and to be discontinued sooner if (as came to pass) he didn’t need it further. You wouldn’t want a cat to be on it permanently, but it would be excellent for helping an easily-stressed cat for a day or two through something as stressful as air travel.

        At the same time, Baihu, for all his still-intact feral instincts, is doing superbly on our walks. Just this morning we were back out at South Mountain Park, where he (as always) got lots of attention from everybody whose paths we crossed. Indeed, I suspect the two of us are probably on at least a few Facebook pages by now…but my point is that, with patience and persistence and love, you should be able to get any cat to at least not panic in all sorts of stressful situations — and maybe even enjoy some of them.



        • Diane G.
          Posted April 2, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

          You mean Baihu is actually interacting with other humans now?

          • Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            Sorta…if he’s walking on the ground when other people approach, he looks for cover or to escape. At that point, I scoop him up onto my shoulders. Once he’s on my shoulders, he stays there, even as people ooh and aah over him. He’s gotten some quick chin scratches and ear rubs like that. Afterwards, I always make sure to tell him that he did superbly well and to remind him that he did not get eaten.


            • Diane G.
              Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

              Ben, that’s wonderful! He’s been on quite the journey with you–what a success story.

              • Posted April 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

                I’ll admit, I’m quite proud of him. I’m looking forward to the time when I can take him with me on most of my trips out of the house, such as to rehearsals or even grocery shopping….


    • Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that kind of shocked me, too.

  8. Grania Spingies
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I wish Jerry and his new family many years of happiness together.

  9. Merilee
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    His nice new family sounds American or Canadian??

    Jerry looked kinda bed- raggled after his Rescue Remedy, but then seemed to wake up to terrorize the dreaded crinkly tunnel:-). My cats have always been a-scaired of them crinkly things…

    • Gayle Ferguson
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


  10. challedon
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Have a long and wonderful life Little Jerry. Be patient with your human caretakers and don’t teach them any bad habits.

  11. Paul S.
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    “Jerry Coyn on drugs” I believe this will become the ultimate quote mine.

  12. Paul S.
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Aaarrrrrrg, what happened to the “e”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      Dude, you dropped the ‘e’! Look under the sofa! Look between the cushions!

  13. ljh
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Well I hope he got to take his little purple sock toy with him!

    • Gayle Ferguson
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      He did!

  14. merilee
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    second “tick” attempt

  15. Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    First, Gayle, thanks so much for doing such a good job raising Jerry and his sisters. It’s a lot of work, clearly…even if, as payment you do get to play with kittens!

    Any word on whether or not we’re likely to get any future updates about Jerry Coyne, Felid?


  16. Mike Leegaard
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to see Jerry will have room to run and play. Luka looks a bit sour. I hope they get along.

  17. Zetopan
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    “And watch out for those chickens!”

    Didn’t you mean to say:
    “And watch out for those dinosaurs!”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      At JC(F)’s size, chickens may as well be ostriches. For a while anyway.
      I’m trying to remember the group of multi-two-metre tall “terror birds” of the early Palaeocene … “Phorusrhacids”, but they lasted into the Miocene, if not more recently.
      Will some mad NZ scientist please extract the digit, and then the DNA, so that we can bring back the moa?

      • Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        If you want to bring back the moa, it’s likely going to take more than some lone wolf mad scientist. You’re going to need money, which means commercial investment.

        McMoa, anybody?


        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I wish I were a billionaire so I could finance projects like this! 😀

          • Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            I wish you were a billionaire, too! You’d be much better than our current crop of billionaires….


        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 2, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

          which means commercial investment.
          McMoa, anybody?

          It’s perfectly credible.

          • Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            Er…not to be a grammar / typo nazi, but you’ve got an extra “cr” in that last word….


            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

              “edible” and “Mc*” in the same sentence?
              It must have been something you ate.

  18. Dominic
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Boootiful. 🙂

  19. Chris
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Not really surprised that Jerry hid. It’ll take him a little while for him to get used to it and then he’ll be fine! 🙂

    The last family cat that my parents had spent the first 3 days in our house hiding behind our central heating boiler. She was very highly strung though, and Jerry looks to be a lot more confident.

  20. Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Best wishes to little Jerry with his forever family! I hope he’s settling in well. Poor kitty did look a little bemused, stressed and out of sorts in the photos.

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