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Colonel Meow, the cat with the longest fur in the world and the brooding face of an evil genius, has sadly passed away.

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Book of a lifetime: The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha was read to me before I could read. The eponymous protagonist of the long poem (his name means “He Makes Rivers”) is a Native American leader whose mother is called Wenonah and whose father is the West Wind. Hiawatha is a prophet, warrior, and peacemaker. In his spare time, he – accidentally, but most conveniently – discovers corn. On a different day, he invents the written word. The Song of Hiawatha is the kind of book I would have liked to write when I was a child and would like to be able to write now.

US army doctor returns arm to Vietnamese soldier fifty years after he took it as a souvenir

Mr Hung was stunned that someone had kept his bones for so long, but happy that when the time comes, they will be buried with him

Book of a lifetime: The Master and Margarita, By Mikhail Bulgakov

"Manuscripts don't burn…" In my early teens, hating my school, hating pretty much everything, I was kicking around the rectory kitchen of an aunt who'd drawn the short straw of looking after me for half term when she sighed heavily and stubbed out her cigarette. In the few seconds that elapsed before she lit another, she stamped across to a small bookcase. Pulling a tatty paperback from a shelf, she said, "Stalin's favourite playwright. Don't let that put you off."

Burger-gate: 6 things it would have been weirder for George Osborne to eat than a Byron burger

Osborne's choice of a £10 takeaway Byron burger has caused a stir, with the Chancellor being quizzed on Radio 4 this morning over his "posh" tastes.

Pets are being thrown away like rubbish, warns RSPCA

Pets have been found dumped in bins, boxes and even a cemetery in the run-up to the summer holidays as owners choose to abandon them rather than pay for their care while they are away, a charity has said.

Cute animals on the Internet are the exact reason why you won't get a first

Each video of a pug struggling up a flight of stairs takes another mark off your final result, reckons Eleanor Doughty

Dog meets cat and it's love at first fight

Our home zoo has expanded once again with the arrival last week of our new Labrador puppy, Fitzgerald. For the past 10 years we have been truly blessed with the existence of Huxley, a black Labrador and close personal friend of quite exceptional intelligence. Now, as Huxley approaches retirement age, we decided as a family that he should have the opportunity of passing on his considerable wisdom to the next generation – hence Fitzgerald.

Thomas wears his catcam on Horizon's 'The Secret Life of the Cat'

Horizon doubles average audience size with The Secret Life of the Cat

Nearly 5m people watched the documentary on BBC Two last night

Demonstrators set up camp at Taksim Gezi park, Istanbul

Turkey protests: Erdogan trying - and failing - to herd cats

The Prime Minister's authoritarian streak extends to dealing with street cats

Boris Johnson has confessed that he came close to committing a gross injustice that would have involved innocent creatures being blasted to death at gunpoint – and all over an anonymous cat

Andy McSmith's Diary: Boris Johnson owes the fox community an apology

Boris Johnson has confessed that he came close to committing a gross injustice that would have involved innocent creatures being blasted to death at gunpoint – and all over an anonymous cat. The Mayor of London was speaking at a debate hosted by the radio station LBC, for whom he will host a new phone-in starting on 2 July.

Spot (Male), three years old, has an independent side

In pictures: Battersea animal rescue home runs out of room for cats - and appeals for new owners

'We've taken 15 per cent more calls from people wanting to give up their cats than the same period last year'

The five-minute memoir: Rupert Christiansen recalls an intruder in Clapham

First, a sausage was left in his bedroom. Then, says Rupert Christiansen, things got even stranger.

Karl Lagerfeld says he wants to get married... to his cat

Choupette the white Siamese cat has 27,000 Twitter followers, three maids and flies by private jet

South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness

Zookeeper Sarah McClay dies after being mauled by tiger at Cumbria animal park

24-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to Preston Royal Infirmary

If you want to get on board with the latest facial-hair fashion, you don’t need to spend hours on grooming

Facial hair: Cat beards and the purrrsuit of excellence

Designer stubble’s dead. Save your ’tache for Movember. If you want to get on board with the latest facial-hair fashion, you don’t need to spend hours on grooming. In fact, you don’t even have to be a man. All you need is a cat.

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JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
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The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
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The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
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Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game