Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Alien Cat (aka Cornish Rex)

Nova - Cornish Rex Cat
We live with two feline aliens.
Actually they are called Cornish Rexes and they are a unique breed of cat.
My babies are Nova (male) and Nebula (female with impressive gray mustache).  They are cats that act like dogs in their love of affection and need for contact. 
I have wanted a Cornish Rex for a long time after seeing their unusual looks.  The more I studied them the more I fell in love with the breed.
Nova and Nebula

The most striking feature of the breed is their coat. It is very short, lies close to the body, and is incredibly soft to the touch, prompting comparisons to cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur, or silk. It is in a class of it's own and it is a pleasure to pet this breed--which is a win/win for cat and human.

Nebula - take a look at that mustache!

In addition to the coat, the Cornish Rex has a distinct egg-shaped head with high cheekbones, hollow cheeks, a strongly bridged Roman nose, and large ears set high on the head. The body "has been compared to that of a Whippet, with its arched back, barrel chest, small waist, and very fine, long legs. In spite of their dainty appearance, these small to medium sized cats are extremely hard-bodied and muscular, using their well developed hips and long legs for fast starts and stops, quick turns, and high jumps." Credit CFA
Because of their coat, some people mistakenly believe that they do not shed and are hypoallergenic. In fact, all cats shed but the Cornish Rex shedding is minimal and they tend to be more easily tolerated by people with cat allergies.

I have had cat allergies my entire life. I now share a bed with two soft kitties that like to sleep ON TOP of me. I still have to make certain I am careful not to touch my eyes after petting them but otherwise I am fine.

Even though my babies look like aliens they actually originated in Cornwall, England, where one first appeared in a litter of barn cats in 1950. A cream-colored male, named Kallibunker, was covered in tight rows of tiny curls, giving him the appearance of a miniature lamb. He had a slender, fine-boned body standing on long legs, a narrow head, enormous “bat ears,” and a long, whippy tail. Kallibunker was a genuine mutation and was bred back to his mother to produce curly kittens. The curly coated cats were "bred with Burmese, Siamese, and British domestic shorthair cats, resulting in a broad genetic base for the Cornish Rex breed and the knowledge that the gene was recessive." Credit CFA

Nebula: "Stop talking about my mustache!"

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