SIR – Your report (August 7) on how cats “are more likely to be attracted to people who are less interested in them” reminded me of Jess, the cat we took in years ago when my nine-year-old daughter brought home a kitten she had received from a friend.
Remembering Rudyard Kipling’s story The Cat Who Walked Alone, I fitted the back door and another door to the conservatory kitchen with cat flaps, so she could come and go as she pleased.
She deigned to live her entire nine-year life with us, doing her own thing — which included crossing the table when, on the first morning, I turned away from my breakfast to rub her nose.
I was, however, worried when I left the house for my 10 minute walk to the station in the morning and she started walking with me the first 10 meters. It was not easy to persuade her to turn back.
SIR – Regarding the availability of subtitles (Letters, August 7), at the ticket office of a Miami cinema I mentioned that I was deaf, and I was offered headphones.
Upon accepting them, I asked if there were captions and was immediately offered a pair of “glasses” instead. This magical pair somehow showed on-screen subtitles that were otherwise invisible. Great.
Sadly, they seem unavailable here, even in London’s grand refurbished Odeon Luxe. Why?
SIR – I spent about thirty years in the sound department of Thames TV, where I was involved in the dubbing of many dramas.
At the dubbing session, the directors quite often wanted to add music when they felt that the action had slowed down, in order to compensate for the loss of dramaturgy.
I often objected to this, as it usually led to stifling dialogue.
We were able to monitor the sound on very expensive, high quality speakers costing several thousand pounds, unlike the public who listened on much inferior sound systems.
We incorporated a simulated TV sound system, which I used to illustrate how the directors’ “enhanced sound” would be experienced by viewers.
I’m happy to say that we were able to convince most administrators to prioritize dialogue. The results can be heard in productions such as Rumpole of the Bailey, Van der Valk and Minder.
Naval Club Betrayal
SIR – I read with utter disgust your report on the sale of the Naval Club to Mayfair, and how the rules were changed so that members shared the remaining £21million after £6.5million was been distributed to naval charities.
My uncle, Donald Alexander Fyson, was a lieutenant on HMS Syrtis (an S-class submarine) when he went missing in 1944.
He was 23 years old. He had volunteered to join the Royal Naval Air Service in 1939, then transferred to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Don was mentioned in dispatches in 1940. He is one of the heroes commemorated by the Naval Club.
This house was given as a monument to the dead. The obvious intent was to support Navy veterans, not to increase the wealth of 860 members. The original Memorandum of Association covered the possibility of liquidation and stated that any excess proceeds were to be donated to like-minded organizations or maritime charities. It is outrageous that this provision has been changed.
Surely, now that this matter has been made public, the Charity Commissioners will act.
Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire
SIR – Following your recent correspondence (August 7) advocating Radio Swiss Classic as an alternative to BBC Radio 3, I also recommend RTE Lyric FM from Ireland, which broadcasts popular classics but also folk, baroque, musicals and all a series of eclectic materials. As such, it is superior to our Classic FM, which can be repetitive.
The first blackberry
SIR – Sophia Money-Coutts wonders if the blackberries she picked last weekend were the earliest. Sidney, my Border terrier, picked her first of the season on July 22, here on Romney Marsh.