- Size: Small-Medium, 5 to 10 lbs
- Energy Level: 5/5
- Talkative: 2/5
- Coat: Short, rippled and wavy
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: Anyone with a spacious home for me to run around in
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Confident, very friendly, smart, clownish and like to show off my acrobatic skills
The very first thing you’ll notice about me is my very unique coat. It’s simply unlike any you’ve ever seen on a feline – short, curly, and cropped very close to my body.
It’s actually not even fur – I have no hair except for down.
And thanks to a genetic mutation, my downy fur is very interesting indeed. Many have compared the look of my wiry, wavy fur to those traditional washboards used back in the day.
This unique coat of mine comes in various shades as well: lavender, tortoiseshell, cream, black, red, blue, calico, white, pointed and bi-color patterns. Most cat associations have officially set up seven coat categories for my breed, but these can also have up to more than 60 variations of shades and patterns.
My super short fur leaves none of my curves to the imagination. And curves, I have plenty of. From my large, expressive ears down to my elegant, arched back, I am a marvel of graceful arcs and lines.
How graceful? Well, my long, slender body is often compared to the lithe, stylish form of the gazelle as well as the lean, powerful form of the greyhound.
One could do worse, you know, as far as comparisons go.
And if I do say so myself, they’re apt comparisons. My slender form might appear dainty but like the gazelle and the greyhound, you’d be a fool to be fooled by my willowy appearance. I might be slim, but I’m very well-muscled with fine yet strong bones.
I’ve also got fiercely powerful legs. Sure, they look wiry, but I can propel myself high into the air effortlessly.
And my hips? They are extremely well-developed. I have not a single problem scrambling into a dash and can even easily swivel my body for quick turns.
As for my face, it’s as supermodel-like as my body. I flaunt prominent cheekbones and a high-bridged nose that runs straight down my face.
My large ears stand proudly tall, wide, and ever alert and are beautifully complemented by my almond-shaped, slightly slanted, and mysterious eyes.
The best part? My strong chin ends in the perfect, graceful point to complete my elegantly heart-shaped face.
Most people can’t stop staring.
When people get to know me – like really know me – they’re usually surprised. Most admit they judged me for my refined and aristocratic features and apologize for having assumed I’d be stuck-up.
Looks can be so deceiving.
I am actually the least pretentious cat I know. In fact, I’m ridiculously playful – to the point of being clownish – and I won’t hesitate to make a fool of myself if it makes you smile.
‘Tis just my nature. And it’ll pretty much remain this way throughout my life – my breed tends to keep our bouncy, frisky ways well into adulthood. This means I’ll always be up for a game or two and have the liveliness of a kitten all my life.
I’m also nowhere near as aloof as my looks suggest. I love being showered with affection and am always down for a vigorous belly rub or a gentle pat on my head.
That being said, I’m not needy or clingy when it comes to attention. Actually, I’m a highly independent feline and ‘though I love being noticed, I also don’t mind being left alone. You see, I’m perfectly capable of entertaining myself and you won’t catch me pining away just ’cause you left for too long.
Many people even suspect that I am at my happiest when I m given a free run of the house, but that’s not entirely true. I just genuinely enjoy my own company.
It’s not hard to, after all, when you’re as smart and capable as I am. I’m a highly intelligent cat and I’ve even figured out how to open doors with my paws. And if you leave me in a less-than-secure enclosure, you can bet I’ll make my escape as soon as you leave the house.
Of course, these brains of mine can also be put to good use – if you’re up for it. I can easily be taught a few tricks, like fetch or even hide and seek. That would actually be really fun for me, since I love interactive games that give me bonding time with my humans and keep me moving.
I am, after all, an extremely active feline and prefer to spend the majority of my time playing and exercising. I have a fondness for both climbing and running, so make sure you give me lots of space to move around.
Especially when I’m in the mood to show off an acrobatic trick for you. This might happen often – don’t be surprised when you see me perform a heart-stopping leap or scaling walls to impress my audience.
Admittedly, I can be a bit of a show-off.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, you might want to stash away your breakables while I’m around since I tend to be a bit unhindered during my performances.
My Ideal Human
A lot of cat buffs consider my breed as one of the easiest to take care of, even for first time cat owners. I am not as demanding as other felines and can easily adapt to different people and environments.
I don’t even shy away from strangers. I’m super friendly and have no qualms about playing with people the first time I meet them. I am so sociable, in fact, that I get along just fine with other pets – even dogs.
Kids are okay, too. I’m quite patient with young children and won’t show the slightest hint of aggression even when being handled roughly. I just walk away to play somewhere else or simply climb out of reach when I think I’ve had enough.
One thing you must keep in mind, though, is that I need a lot of space to play, climb and snoop around. I like to feel that I have a wide, open spaces to roam.
And last thing – ‘though I’m highly independent, I do crave regular bonding time with my humans, even if it’s just a few minutes each day.
My breed began to take root in July 1950 when a British Domestic Shorthair molly named Serena gave birth to an unusual looking kitten in Cornwall, England.
Unlike the rest of his litter, this kitten was fairly slender and had a short, curly coat that looked bizarre when compared to that of his brothers and sisters. The kitten’s owner – Nina Ennismore – immediately fell in love with him and named him Kallibunker.
After a few weeks, Ennismore decided to bring Kallibunker to the local veterinarian to have him neutered. The vet knew Kallibunker was special the moment he laid his eyes on the kitten’s odd appearance. He suggested that Ennismore consult a geneticist to find out more about him.
With the help of a geneticist, Ennismore learned that Kallibunker’s unusual look was caused by a rare genetic mutation. The geneticist recommended pairing Kallibunker to his mother (yes, I know, that’s gross) when he became of age to see if the same mutation would occur. The resulting litter produced two out of three kittens that looked exactly the same as Kallibunker.
As for the name Cornish Rex, it was inspired by Ennismore’s other hobby: breeding Rex rabbits. She noted that Kallibunker’s coat closely resembled her rabbits’ fur and picked “Rex” as the name of the juvenile breed.
And then Ennismore went on to successfully produce a number of Cornish Rex kittens, notably LaMorna Cove, which was imported to the United States and started the propagation of our breed in the country.
The Cornish Rex was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1962 and was given our very own Championship status a couple years later. The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) immediately followed suit. These days, all cat registries recognize the Cornish Rex in their rosters.
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
I am a pretty resilient cat due to my early outcrossing to a number of breeds and am fairly insusceptible to disease. However, there are a few things you should know if you want to spend your life with me.
First, my coat is not very thick and doesn’t provide much protection against the elements. It also doesn’t offer much defense against insect bites. Please don’t allow me to stretch out directly under the sun or hang out where I can be exposed to ants and other bugs since this can lead to sunburn and similar skin problems.
Second, visiting the cat doctor every 5 to 6 months is a priority for me because I can be prone to patellar luxation, a condition in which the kneecaps get misaligned and slide out of place, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease. Sure I may be a hardy breed, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Third, I like my protein. A lot. So give me lots of chicken, beef, salmon, and tuna, okay
And lastly – this is good news – I rarely need grooming. Just run your fingers through my fur once in awhile to remove dirt and other debris.
- Want to know how I got to the US of A? Well, I don’t want to brag but LIFE magazine actually did a feature of my very first ancester, Kallibunker, in 1956. My breed’s popularity obviously exploded after people got a look at how beautiful we were and shortly afterward, California-based cat aficionado, Frances Blancheri, imported LaMorna Cove in 1957.
- Some people seem to be mistaken on this point so let me clarify – I’m not hypoallergenic. Sure, I shed less than other cats but I can still generate enough dander to trigger an allergy attack.
- Cool thing about me is that my light coat allows me to radiate more warmth to my skin. That’s why I tend to feel warmer and toastier than other cats.
- Some people call me “bat ears” ’cause the size and shape of my ears. Some even laugh. I don’t really mind – I guess my ears can look pretty comical, especially when I swivel them from side to side.