As I’ve written before, my cat adoption was not a fun photo montage of Wendy goes to the animal rescue, Wendy plays with kitties, Wendy forms a bond with one or two cats in particular, Wendy adds two delightful fluffballs to her family.
Oh no, I committed to my little monsters sight unseen.
I told the intermediary (my dad) that I wanted a cat or two and two weeks later, I came home to find the WheezyRiders had taken over my home.
So no, I didn’t go out looking for a pure bred fancy cat and I certainly didn’t fork over mas mula for him either. Instead, I found a weird-looking little fuzzy almost blue critter with downy soft fur and a never-ending wheeze sitting on my couch and staring at me like I was the weird-looking one. And Garfield by his side.
My dad had already looked up his breed before I got home and announced that he was a Cornish Rex.
A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat. The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or “guard hairs“, which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the “awn hair“; and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat. The curl in Cornish Rex fur is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Devon Rex. It originates from Cornwall, England.
The coat of a Cornish Rex is extremely fine and sometimes curly, the softest of any cat breed. However, their light coat means that they are best suited for indoor living in warm and dry conditions, as they might get hypothermia if they stay outdoors in the winter. Their body temperature of 39 °C (102 °F) is slightly higher than that of most cats, with Cornish Rexes tending to hang around warm places such as computer monitors, light bulbs, laps and shoulders. Some Cornish Rexes also have a mild cheesy smell peculiar to the breed; this odor comes from scent glands in the paws.
The Cornish Rex is a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall,UK; hence the first part of the breed’s name. One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine and curly coat; he was the first Cornish Rex. The owner then backcrossed Kallibunker to his mother to produce 2 other curly-coated kittens. The male, Poldhu, sired a female called Lamorna Cove who was later brought to America and crossed with a Siamese, giving the breed their long whippy tails and big ears.
I’ll have you know, my Captain does not smell cheesey. He smells very sweet… like cat food breath and saliva dried over downy fur. Take THAT, Wiki. Everything else is entirely true.
So my little buddy is a mutation of a mutation who was then inbred to make more and then cross-bred for more fun mutations. I think it might be possible that Captain’s superhero status makes him an X-men and that we shall be hearing from the cat equivalent of Professor X any day now.
For more about the Cornish Rex, and a definitive answer to the question, “Are those cats from outerspace”, please see the Cat Fanciers’ Association Cornish Rex Breed Profile.