Buckfastleigh in Devonshire, England around 1960. The first Devon was
born. An ordinary domestic cat had a litter of kittens to a strange and
unusually curly coated tomcat. Miss Beryl Cox was so taken with this
kitten that she kept him and called him Kirlee. At that same time, the
Cornish Rex was also being established as a breed in England. Other Rex
breeders at the time were very excited to hear of the news. They
persuaded Miss Cox to let them use Kirlee as part of their Rex program.
It was assumed that the mutation was the same gene. But between the two
types of curly coats, it resulted in all straight-coated kittens. They
were therefore forced to the surprising conclusion that, despite of the
geographical closeness, the wavy haired gene in the Devon Rex was not
the same as the one in which was
causing wavy hair in the Cornish Rex.
In 1967, Great Britain's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF)
recognized the distinction between the two breeds, and wrote standards
to allow each of them into competition as distinctive breeds of cat.
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