History of Selkirk Rex

 

The first Selkirk Rex to arrive in the UK on February 7 and 8, 2002, were 3 siblings bred by the Austrian breeders Christiana & Karl Aichner (DGC Serenitie Betty Boop of Courtlycats, dilute Calico SH female x RW SGC Conan von Ebenthal of Courtlycats, blue BSH male). The first of the 3 was Courtlycats Count Basie, a cream LH male,

Courtlycats Count Bassie

On February 8, 2002, the 2 other of the 3 siblings arrived in the UK: GC Courtlycats Call Me Madam to cattery Toreska (owned by Linda Davison), and CH Courtlycats Cookies n Cream, a LH blue-cream female, to cattery Trueblu (owned by Lisa Peterson).

 Lisa Peterson  (Islarey, Australia) being the one who was most influential in getting the Selkirk Rex established in the UK. They are known worldwide as the Cat in Sheep’s Clothing as it resembles a lambs coat and has a wonderful and totally unique feel to the sheep-like coat. However, their purrsonalities are the thing that make you realise one is never enough.   Other experienced breeders followed , mostly getting their foundation Selkirk Rex from Lisa Peterson.

The breed is one of the newest natural breeds, with a naturally curly coat and originating from the housecat, Miss DePesto of Noface was born in the shelter, called For Pet's Sake and run by Kitty Garrett Brown in Sheridan, Montana, in 1987. Miss DePesto was a female with green eyes and that naturally curly coat. Her original name was Curly-Q, because of her strange curled coat. When she was placed at very young age, she bounced back to the shelter, because she cried too much and was too demanding. With nine weeks she was placed again and came to Peggy Vorrhes of the Bozeman Human Society, who brought her to the Persian breeder, Jeri Newman in Livingstone, Montana. Jeri changed her name and called her Miss DePesto, she bred her to Ch. PhotoFinish of Deekay, a black Persian. Miss DePesto produced three curly kittens out of six on July 4, 1988: Noface Oscar Kowalski, black and white curly shorthair male, Noface Sheela, black curly shorthair female, one tortie curly shorthair female, two black straight-haired shorthair males and one black straight-haired longhair female. Note that there was also born a longhair kitten!

Miss DePestoNoface Oscar Kowalski

Miss Depesto                                                        Noface Oscar Kowalskisi

 

In 1989 Oscar was bred back to Miss DePesto, which gave birth to a litter of 4 on July 15, 1989: Noface Snowman, a shorthair curly red point male, two shorthair curly tortie females and one shorthair straight-haired female. Note that there was a pointed kitten in this litter.
Oscar is the father of the majority of Selkirk Rex lines.
Thus it turned out, that the gene causing that curly coat, was dominant, and that Miss DePesto carried LH and the Himalayan gene.

Miss DePesto was bred five times, once to PhotoFinish, the black Persian, twice to her son Oscar, once to a housecat, named Mr. Rogers, and once to Ch Razberrilane Purrpower of Big Sky, a shaded golden Persian.
Jeri Newman also wrote the first standard desiring the more "Brit" look (see that outcrosses to British Shorthair are still permitted). She chose the name Selkirk using the family name of her stepfather. There are also the Selkirk Mountains, about 75 miles away from the birth place of Miss DePesto, and a creek called Selkirk, about 20 miles away.

The breed was first recognized by TICA and ACFA in 1994.
The first Selkirk Rex shown at a CFA show in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January 1990 were Oscar and his son Snowman. CFA accepted the breed as miscellaneous breed in the shorthair category in October 1992.

From the 3rd litter of Miss DePesto (with her son Noface Oscar Kowalski), Noface Grace Slick, a blue point-white female, who proved to be homozygous, born on February 10, 1990, went to Mary Harrington in Switzerland. An article about Grace published in the French cat magazine Atout Chat, attracted many interested people. One was Regine Lohre (cattery du Clos Des Anges), which contacted Mrs. Harrington and got Grace, thus becoming the foundation queen for the Selkirk Rex in France.

 

Noface Grace Slick

One kitten of Grace born 1992 in France, called Helosia du Clos des Anges, went to Saarlouis and became the foundation queen of the Selkirk Rex in Germany.