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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.

Steve Wilhite, inventor of the GIF file, poses with an award backstage at the Webby Awards. He says the file should be pronounced 'jif' not 'gif' with a hard 'G'.

GIF inventor Steve Wilhite says it should be pronounced 'jif'

The inventor of the Gif file has revealed that the world has been mispronouncing his creation.

The Evolve team with losing contestant Jaz, far left on the lower row

First Night: I'm sick of clichés, says Lord Sugar as the The Apprentice returns

They were sent to take delivery of loads of toilet paper, bottled water and waving Chinese cats

A Canadian lynx, similar to the Edwardian feral lynx

Lynx is evidence that big cat did roam Britain – but it's the stuff of legend now

Preserved lynx discovered in museum was 'Beast of Bodmin' of its time

Kate Humble: 'It was exciting being in a big city at 19, living on crisps, air and drugs'

I spent my whole childhood covered in the dung of various animals I grew up in a house next door to a farm in Bray, Berkshire. Most days I'd climb over the fence into our neighbour's farm and muck out the horses or the pigs.

A new dating site puts beard-lovers in touch with beard-wearers

Beardiful: The singles’ dating site for furry fellows – and their fans

The beard might be back in fashion, but that doesn’t mean it's easy for wearers to find love.

Paul Gallico: Ever an optimist

Invisible Ink: No 165 - Paul Gallico

There was a time when Paul Gallico's novels had a place on every middle-class bookshelf, yet, even though several of his books remain in print, he has all but vanished from public consciousness. He was born in New York in 1897, the son of a famous Italian pianist and composer, and became one of the highest-paid sports writers in America. His career took off after he asked the boxer Jack Dempsey to spar with him, and was able to describe what it felt like to be knocked out by a champion.

Lion broke the neck of young volunteer after 'opening cage with its paw'

Authorities believe a lion broke the neck of a young volunteer at a US animal park after opening its cage with its paw and attacking as the woman cleaned its holding area.

Lion kills intern at California animal sanctuary

A female intern at a private wild animal park in Central California has been killed by a lion, authorities said today.

Alas, when I logged on to try and put my cat Onion on the map, it was having teething troubles

Cat lovers of the world unite and take co-ordinates

Do you love maps? Do you love cats? If so, check out the Zoological Society of London’s latest promotional wheeze, which combines the two. Catography, if you will. The idea is that in the run up to the opening of London Zoo’s new Tiger Territory area (a £3.6m enclosure where endangered  Sumatran tigers will be living) on the 22 March, cat fans can add the location and name of their moggy to an interactive map of the world.

Cat Cafe's are set to be established in London

Cat café is coming to London after public donates £100,000 in a feline frenzy

Start-up donations spurred on by Independent article earlier this year

I'd love to have a pet dog - but lack of space, work (and a cat) get in the way

Join my campaign to make my mum a dog owner

Yet Another Armageddon? Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Impending Solar Superstorm

We've only just wiped the sweat from our brow following the averted Mayan apocalypse, but already news is spreading of another impending doom; and this one even has actual science behind it.

According to a group of experts at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, a solar superstorm - caused by the Sun ejecting billions of tonnes of highly-energetic matter travelling at a million miles an hour - is not only inevitable - but coming soon. "The two challenges for government are the wide spectrum of technologies affected today and the emergence of unexpected vulnerabilities as technology evolves," says Professor Paul Cannon. So let's prepare...

Stewie was the longest cat in the world

So long ... to the world's longest cat

Stewie the world's longest cat has died. Guinness World Records declared Stewie the Cat the record-holder in August 2010, measuring 48.5 inches (123.19 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.

Video: Kitten and hedgehog make friends

A video of a kitten tentatively meeting a hedgehog has gone viral.

New research shows 350,000 Britons a year are being infected with pet-borne parasite linked with schizophrenia and increased suicide risk

'Stone-cold serial killers': Domestic cats slaughter billions upon billions of animals in US every year

A new study has discovered cat kills exceed all prior estimates

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas