The Devon Rex history

 

The first devon rex was born in 1959 and discovered by the cat world in 1960. His parents were a tortiseshell female and probably a curly tomcat that the local people had spotted living in a deserted tin mine in the area.


Miss Beryl Cox, who owned the mother of this strange kitten, decided to keep him. The kitten was named Kirlee. In those years the cornish rex breed was already known and bred by a few passionate breeders. Miss Cox contacted Brian Dtirling Webb, who was breeding cornish rex when she saw a picture of his curly cat in a newspaper. Mr Webb persuaded Miss Cox to sell Kirlee to him so he could be used as a stud in his breeding program.


Kirlee's kittens were eagerly waited but an unexpected surprise happened! All kittens were straight-haired - no curls at all. Many times Kirlee was bred to the other curly cats but always only straight-haired kittens were born.

It became obvious that Kirlee's curly coat was caused by a different genetic variation than the curly coat seen in the other rex (cornish) cats. Kirlee's genetic variation was referred to as "gene ii" rex, later known as the devon rex. The other curly cats (referred to as "gene i" rex) were known as cornish rex cats.

The two breeds were separated from that time forward.


In 1967, Great Britain's governing council of the cat fancy (GCCF) recognized the distinction between the 2 breeds and allowed them to be shown as different breeds with distinctly different standards of perfection for each of them.