WHISPERING SMITH: Deaf cats, stable doors and running horses...

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I look out of the kitchen window towards my array of bird feeders with peanuts, bird seed, lumpy fat balls – you name it, I have it on offer. Must be enough grub out there for all the birds in Littlehampton and Wick as well – but maybe not Rustington.

I love my cat, but I am not actually sure she is a real cat now – she sits in the garden, is stone deaf and of failing eyesight.

She totally ignores a bird only a couple of feet away from where she is snoozing.

Her diminished instincts may have been degraded further by the sixty-quid’s worth of monthly medication she is on for a dodgy heart and thyroid – I didn’t know cats had thyroids but apparently their inside workings are much the same as ours.

I also did not know that until my neighbour, Winona, told me. She suffers from a dicky thyroid and the symptoms are much the same in both human and animal.

I try to picture Winny seated on my rickety garden chair – like me, long past its sell by date – surrounded by seagulls and wood pigeons and taking absolutely no notice of them.

I put gulls and pigeons – that includes collared doves – at the top of my very short list as, despite or maybe because of the variety of food on the menu, they seem to be my only diners.

My point being, why no birds? Is it down to my chair bound sleeping geriatric cat or is it something more sinister? Neighbours boast all kinds of bird visitors – are they telling me porkies?

I go regularly to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough and to Arundel’s Wetlands Centre and see very little there of note either. Perhaps it is just me they do not like, perhaps there is something Worzel Gummidgey about me that scares them off...


A LARGE police presence was welcome in town over the past few days following the stabbing incident in the High Street. However, the old saw of locked stable doors and bolted horses springs to mind. It is time our police commissioner stopped chasing already cash-strapped local authorities and promises from developers for more money and face the fact that the government have not given ours or any other police authorities the money needed to do to the job properly. But, of course, that means going up against our political masters and that would never do, would it...


THERE are around 20 eateries in Arundel, a lot for so small a town, and very welcome they are. Strange though, that there is not a single chemist shop. Not a good place to fall ill or perhaps suffer a headache or a sudden bout of indigestion. Perhaps the council could do some sort of business rate deal to tempt an independent chemist to set up shop there. Just a thought.


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