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CFA Pedigreed Breed: Devon Rex

In 1959, a Miss Cox of Devonshire, England, found that a stray cat in her care had given birth to a rather odd-looking curly-haired kitten. The sire was thought to be a curly-haired tomcat seen in the area. Delighted with the kitten's elfin features and wavy curls, Cox named him Kirlee -- the founding father of the unique and wonderful breed of cats known today as the Devon Rex.

Today's Devon Rex maintain a look true to their founder -- huge ears set low on the sides of the head frame; a pixielike face with large, inquisitive eyes and a short, slightly upturned nose. A coat of loose waves and curls covers a strong and supple body in a compact, refined form.

Devons are low-maintenance, wash-and-wear companions. Their large ears occasionally require cleaning, but otherwise a quick shampoo, towel dry (or even a wipe down with a damp cloth), and nail trim are all the grooming most Devons require. Despite popular myth, Devons do shed (as does anything with hair), although their unique coat may make the shed hair less obtrusive than that of many cats. Devons have also gained a dubious reputation as being hypoallergenic, but this varies according to an individual's personal allergies.

The Devon personality has been aptly described as a cross between a cat, a monkey, and Dennis the Menace. They are highly active, playful, and involved with everything. Powerful jumpers, Devons have been found climbing brick fireplaces and perching on top of doors. Although little escapes a Devon's interest, Devons are very people-oriented. Most invite themselves along for every activity -- preferably perched on a shoulder, lap, or wherever they can be closest to their people.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011