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Readers of Language Hat will know Jamessal, the writer James Salant.  On Friday, Jim found this three- to four-week-old kitten sitting in the middle of the road.

muntz4‘He hijacked my whole day,’ Jim wrote, ‘ first searching unsuccessfully for his home, then consulting vets, then buying kitty food, but he’s cuter than hell — we’re considering keeping him’. So, he, and food blogger Robin Damstra of Caviar and Codfish, considered it:

muntz3And then: ‘We are exhausted; Robin actually has a fever and I was up most of the night worrying about the animals’,  (there’s also Champ the dog to consider). It seems what they were mostly considering was a name, which is now Muntz (probably after the Simpsons’ character). The last I heard was ‘Forgot to say: he weighs one pound’ …


until Jim filled in the details as a comment, below.  I’m moving it here:

The story in full: I was driving home from buying fish when a few cars swerved ahead of me; a cat had darted across the road, dropping a kitten from her mouth right on the double lines. Without thinking really, I stopped the car and grabbed the soiled creature, holding it up by way of apologetic explanation for the two cars stopped abruptly behind me, and then drove off. A hectic minute or two down the road (my dog was in the backseat, eager for a sniff), I started thinking I’d made a mistake — maybe I should have just gotten the kitten out the road for his mother to find — so I pulled into the next driveway to think it over and, amazingly, the next driveway was a vet’s! The vet himself was busy, but a kind lady at the desk gave me a box and blanket, and suggested I ring a few doorbells to see if the kitten and his mother belonged to anybody. I did; one woman offered to take the kitten, saying her sister worked at a good shelter, but by then I’d already grown somewhat attached — I could give him to a shelter myself, thank you. The next person whose door I knocked on said that a cat with exactly the kitten’s markings lived wild in the neighborhood, eating out of trashcans. Not seeing much point on knocking on doors after that, I went back to the vet, who, now available, said the kitten would be better with me (or whomever I chose to give him to) than on the side of the road, or even with his mother (if I could find her) — so we’ve had him since Friday. He seems healthy as can be (eating, sleeping, playing), although I’m supposed to keep him away from our cat, in case of disease. (That’s actually what kept me up: both Champ, our dog, and Lily, our cat, like sleeping in, or at least having access to, our bedroom, and of course that’s where the kitten was.)

Update 20 May ’09:  Muntz is now one pound, five ounces (0.6 kg).