The first Rex cat born in captivity, a cream male named Kallibunker, arrived with a retinue of four straighthaired littermates on July 21, 1950, in Cornwall, England. This litter belonged to Nina Ennismore, who had formerly bred Rex rabbits. She knew from this hare-raising experience that Kallibunker’s spiral coat was the work of a mutated gene that had previously occurred among rats, mice and horses as well.
At the urging of cat fancier Brian Sterling-Webb and geneticist A.C. Jude, Enismore bred Kallibunker to his mother. This mating produced a normal-coated female and two Rex-coated males. One of those males, named Poldhu, joined Kallibunker as a foundation sire of the Cornish Rex breed,which was named after its place of origin.
Body Structure:The Cornish Rex is a small- to medium-sized cat with an extremely soft, wavy coat, fine bones, and a race-car chassis. Its torso is long, and slender, though never tubular; its hips are muscular and somewhat heavy for its body; its back is naturally arched; and it sports a commanding tuck up: the lower line of the abdomen curves upward toward the spine, which ends in a long, slender, tapering, extremely flexible tail.
It has a long, graceful neck that leads to a comparatively small,narrow, somewhat egg-shaped head. A rounded forehead, a distinctive Roman nose with a high, prominent bridge, a pronounced muzzle break, and large ears (erect, alert, and set high on the head) give the Cornish Rex a signature appearance.
Eyes:Eyes are medium to large and oval-shaped (a full eye’s width apart).
Coat:The Rex coat, comprised of short, remarkably soft and silky hairs, is characterized by a relatively dense, tight, uniform marcel wave, lying close to the body and extending from the top of the head across the back,sides, hips and tail. The size and depth of wave may vary, while the hair on the underside of the chin, on the chest and on the abdomen is short and noticeably wavy. The Rex sheds less than other cats, making it easier to keep dander under control. As a result, the Rex is sometimes the answer for cat fanciers who are allergic to felines, but not always.
Character:Vicky DePietro (Maj-Ik Cattery), says that because of its desire to interact with people, its penchant for giving kisses and its faster-than-a-speeding-bullet activity level, the Cornish Rex is not a cat for “those who are looking for an ornament to match their furniture.”