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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
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Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
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