These cats are known for their large pronounced ears and extremely short fur which is called "down." If you have heard of the word down before, it was probably referring to baby bird feathers. In the case of most cats, they have what is called an undercoat of fur which is topped with a much longer overcoat. The Cornish Rex only has the undercoat.
Since it is unusual for the undercoat to be out in the open, it does not quite look right. Often, this short fur will seem broken up into little shelves up the back of the cat. It can be extremely curly as well which is actually where the name comes from.
Now, I just know I got about 15 amateur scholars who are pointing fingers at me for making a mistake in the previous paragraph. "Rex means 'king' in Latin, you dolt!" Well, yes. I know that, good sir. But let me explain how rex does indeed mean curly fur in this case.
The usage of rex still means king, but there was a bit of an incident somewhere between 1875 and 1934 involving the king of Belgium. King Albert I apparently loved rabbits. No, not cats. We haven't gotten to that yet. Only rabbits so far. He entered into a contest a very special curly-haired rabbit of his own design. Unfortunately, curly-haired rabbits were not the standard and would have been disqualified. But let's face it: who's going to be the one to tell the king that?
The judges accepted the rabbit into the contest and labeled it a Rex after the king who submitted it. After that, the term ended up being used here and there for curly-haired animals in Europe. Imagine that! So now we know why this cat is called the Cornish Rex due to its curly fur.
Personality wise, the cat is very friendly and curious about people. They will follow people around and try and figure them out and learn from them. Apparently, the Cornish Rex is especially recommended for timid people.
In fiction, the only Cornish Rex I know of is Beerus from Dragon Ball Z. I am very sorry, but I stopped watching this annoying show back when I was still a young'un. Still, I really like the pictures of this guy. According to my research, he is known for destroying planets at a whim. He is something of a godlike villain I suppose. Despite him being a Cornish Rex in form, he looks more like a Sphynx to me. I can't make out any fur on him at all. But hey! I'm just doing my job here!
Personally, I think the Cornish Rex would make a great timid style character. He is chilly all the time but still friendly. I did a spotlight for chinchillas a long time ago, showing them as very nervous and in dire need of love. I see these creatures as similar.
There are not many of these spotlights left. I'm counting them down every week now. Enjoy them while they still are coming out!
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