And finally... those pet stories you may have missed

Tony Blair sadly passed away in March, but up to that point the rat had been a very successful artist. His owner Helena Saget had thrust him into the limelight after she recognised his talent and posted some of his work on the Saatchi Gallery website. "I first noticed his creative potential when he walked across some clay tiles and left his paw prints and it went from there," she said. In his creative life, Blair worked on numerous projects, including a shredded plastic-bag art installation and a gnawed blanket, with some of his work selling for up to £1,000.

* Comet the goldfish laughs in the face of that old three-second memory myth – far be it for him to be amused by swimming in circles. Thanks to his owner Dr Pomerleau, instead Comet "limbos" under a miniature bar in his tank, shoots a tiny ball through a teeny hoop, and weaves his way through the smallest of posts. Dr Pomerleau is a cheerleader for brainy fish: "There is mounting evidence that fish are more intelligent than people give them credit for," he says. "People in the market for a dog might want to consider a fish instead."

* Who needs a night light, when such advances in technology mean that your cat can glow in the dark? Last year, South Korean scientists at Gyeongsang National University cloned two cats, and modified the genes so that they became fluorescent; now the Turkish Angora cats turn red when under ultra-violet light. The scientist in charge, Kong Il-Keun, said the technology could be applied to "help develop stem-cell treatments", which could be good news in the long term, but surely there's a market for a glow-in-the-dark cat or two? Suddenly cats that stay the same colour just seem so terribly passé.

* Pity Mozart, the tame iguana, who until recently had to suffer the indignity of a permanent erection which stopped him walking around. After the abject failure of various remedies (involving cold water and the introduction to a female iguana or two), the only solution was castration. Which he duly had. A spokesman for the zoo that put him under the knife wasn't too worried, and almost avoided punning: "Male iguanas – including Mozart – have two penises," he said. "So this is unlikely to be a big problem for him."

* The love of a pet has known no bounds for Vicky and Sam Mills, who live in South Wales with Lily, their Rhode Island Red chicken. After Lily's accident with a barbed wire fence, her owners have lived sparingly for the last year – and taken out a bank loan – in order to pay for seven operations, a drumstick amputation, and the post-operative depression that the beloved chicken was diagnosed with. £2,000 later, and with a pledge from the Mills to leave the television on when Lily is home alone to keep her company, things are looking up all round, not least for Lily, who's back laying eggs.

* Beth and Brian Willis, from Newcastle, are pleased with their unique way of keeping the memory of their pets alive long after they've passed to the Happy Hunting Ground. Sweaters. When their pets were still with them, the Willises gathered up the moulting hair, and knitted that hair into jumpers. Kara, a pedigree white Samoyed provided one exceptional piece. Mrs Willis explains: "It is not actually a hair but a wool ... It would just fall off the dogs and I would run a wet hand over the carpet and pick it up." Sadly Kara is no longer around, but the jumper is. So too with Penny, their Swedish Lapphund, whose hair keeps Brian warm when he's doing his shopping. "They are extremely warm and pretty much waterproof," he confirms of the knitwear. "I've always got a sweat on by the time I get from the bus to the shops."

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture