News

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

Pet shows Britain is littered with brave owners

Although it was the moggies who were up for awards at the weekend's Supreme Cat Show at the Birmingham NEC, I reckon the owners who took them there probably deserved a prize … for bravery.

Ruan Pienaar will be at the heart of all that South Africa do today

Brian Smith: Boks are so brutal I’ve known players pleading to come off...

Coaches view: Playing the Boks you find yourself up against big blokes who don’t like you

Beast of Bodmin</br>
We love a big cat (see also the Surrey Puma) but none more than that stalking Bodmin. Proof eludes those who seek it, but dumb sheep across Cornwall remain fearful.

Wildlife: A beastly beasts hall of fame

The often-disgusted residents of Tunbridge Wells are apparently also terrified after sightings of a ginger "Bigfoot" lookalike with demonic eyes, The Sun reports. A walker recorded the latest contact with the hairy giant in woods beside the Kent town, giving it a place in a (totally bogus) hall of fame featuring British beasts as diverse as mermaids, monsters and big cats. Here are three of the most celebrated.

She might be 40, but Hello Kitty is one cool cat

For a cat who's nearing 40, Hello Kitty shows no signs of slowing down – something her global legions of fans will surely be pleased about.

Man who put cat in tumble drier jailed

A man who put his cat in a tumble drier and posted the footage on YouTube has been jailed.

Cat killed after firework strapped to its back explodes

A cat was killed when a firework which was strapped to its back exploded.

Lolcat: Teh Exhibishun – picture preview

The internet meme inspires yet another art show

Reports of stray or unwanted cats have risen by a third in three years

Cruel for cats: Hard times for humans lead to an epidemic of stray pets

People are letting cats breed to sell the kittens, but if they aren't sold they are often just abandoned

Owner reunited with lost cat six years on

The owner of a cat which disappeared six years ago has spoken of her delight and surprise after finding him walking in the street.

Aww bless, cute pictures make you clever

A real study by proper scientists has shown that taking breaks to look at fluffy kittens improves concentration.

A cuteness-triggered positive emotion prompted by images of baby animals. The effect is associated with taking motivation from anything that gives you happiness, pleasure, or joy.

It's Friday - need some help concentrating at work? Have a look at this picture...

Japanese study shows looking at cute pictures of baby animals can improve concentration

Slimline pets now fighting fit after PDSA competition

A group of pets has gone from fat to fit after taking part in an animal slimming competition.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has emerged with a new set of heavy-rimmed spectacles

An unbiased appraisal of Michael Gove's new specs

Who's the coolest member of the Coalition? Jazz fan Ken Clarke? Mick Jones's cousin Grant Shapps? The competition, with respect to Danny Alexander and Oliver Letwin, isn't too fierce.

Ex put up with Justin Lee Collins' abuse because he was 'love of her life', court hears

The ex-girlfriend of comedian and TV presenter Justin Lee Collins was on the verge of tears today as she said she had put up with the abusive relationship because he was the love of her life.

From London to Edinburgh, Mice are causing chaos

Vermin: Mighty mice are having their moment in the sun

"The mice at this station have been attacking customers," reads a sign at the entrance to Farringdon Tube station in London. "Please place the bottom of your trousers into your socks to avoid being a victim of the Farringdon mice."

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us