SELKIRK REX , a tender leprechaun




SELKIRK REX shorthair


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SELKIRK REX longhair






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In 1986/87 in Wyoming/U.S. a litter of strong, sturdy domestic cats contained a strong, sturdy cat with a soft, curly fur. The curls were similar to the Rex patterns already known.
 The cat was brought to Jeri Newman and mated with her Persian tom-cat. In 1988 six kittens were born, three of them again showing the same curly fur. Next year, in order to keep this new type of fur (curly but fuller, longer, and softer than the one of the already known Rex cats) a tom-cat with curly fur from the 1988 litter was back-mated with his mother. From the beginning this breeding was very limited - too limited for a dominant allelomorph - at that time, however, nobody knew it. This new breed was named Selkirk Rex.
 Today it is common knowledge that the allelomorph (Se) responsible for the extraordinary fur of the Selkirk Rex is dominant against the wildcat form (se), and that both allelomorphs belong to a gene independent of the remaining Rex genes. This means that such a limited breeding was unnecessary and that by less limited outcross breeding (Persian, Exotic Shorthair, and British Shorthair at the beginning, later on only British Shorthair) an extended foundation could have been established. However, it was too late to revise history.

Noface Grace Slick, the first Selkirk Rex in Europe

Early in the 90s she-cat Noface Grace Slick (born out of retro-mating via Switzerland) to Regina Lohre in France (cattery: le Clos des Anges). From the beginning the European line of Selkirk Rex was put onto a large breeding basis and thus stabilized by systematic mating with corresponding breeds (nowadays primarily with British Shorthair because of the characteristics). Some of the kittens of such a litter, as a rule the majority, are Selkirk Rex, the corresponding allelomorph (Se) being the dominant one. This, however, is gladly accepted in order to create a wide basis for the future.
Oktoppusy of Flowkaty
One of the offsprings of Gracy is Oktoppusy of Flowkaty, which is the father of our first Selkirk Rex.


Selkirk Rex inherited some of the clumsy nature of the British Shorthair, but in contrast to this breed they are very close to human beings and like to be cuddled. They are curious, they like to play, and they can be "amiable little devils" if they choose to. With other cats they go along very well. Every once in a while they let you know, politely but resolutely: "Hey, it's cuddling time." If you don't react right away, Cat literally pursues you until you give in and cuddle him or thake him in your arms. Selkirks are very robust and not easily frightened by household devices such as vacuum cleaners. They are truly lovely, both in character and in appearance.


From an animal shelter in Wyoming Peggy Voorhees brought a small blue-cream-white domestic kitten to Jeri Newman in Livingstone/Montana. The kitten was part of a litter of 6 domestic kittens which had been left at the animal shelter and had an unusual short-haired curly fur and and curly whiskers. Thus Miss De Pesto came into Jeris household.
When Miss De Pesto was 14 months she was mated with Jeri's black Persian tom cat CFA CH Photo Finish of Deekay. On July 4, 1988 six kittens were born, 3 of them having inherited their mother's curly fur. They were as follows: a black-and-white curly male, a black curly female, a tortie curly female, two black shorthaired males with a smooth fur, and a black longhaired female, also with a smooth fur. This meant that besides a gene for curls Miss De Pesto also possessed a gene for long hair.
Oscar KowalskiThe black-and-white male kitten was sturdy and had particularly beautiful curls. He was named Oscar Kowalski, and Jeri decided to check Miss De Pesto's genetic health by back-mating her. On July 15, 1989 the kittens were born: a curly red-point male, 2 curly tortie females, and a black shorthaired female with a smooth fur. The point male indicated that both Miss De Pesto and Oscar Kowalski possessed point genes. Unfortunately the 4 females died of pneumonia at the age of 5 weeks. Pathological tests revealed that both the 4 kittens and the mother suffered from various allergies. Presumably these allergies had been aggravated by back-maiting.
Miss de Pesto had another three litters before being neutered. Again, the third litter was the result of back-mating with Oscar. Among the kittens of this litter was Noface Grace Slick, originator of the European Selkirk Rex breeding. The fourth litter was an unintended slip (Miss De Pesto had run away with Mr. Rogers, the neighbour's tom cat). The last litter was fathered by a shaded-golden Persian named Ch. Razberrilane Purrpower of Big Sky.

Noface Grace Slick, Originator of the European Selkirk Rex Lines:

The Story of a Short Cat Life

On February 10, 1990 Gracie was born out of Miss De Pesto of Noface and Noface Oscar Kowalski. Gracie was a blue-point female with white socks. She suffered from allergies, too, and at the age of 5 months she had to be operated on due to umbilical hernia.
Noface Grace SlickIn September 1990 Gracie started her long-distance journey to Europe, where she was to go to Mary Harrington in Switzerland. On August 27, 1990 the transfer documents were issued, and Dr. Connie VanLuchene in Bozeman/Montana issued the veterinary certificate of health.
In Switzerland in 1991 Gracie had 3 litters, two of them with 6 kittens each and one with 9 kittens. Thus in the course of only one year Gracie had as many as 21 babies! All kittens had a curly fur and orange-coloured eyes, many of them suffered from severe allergies. Some of the kittens remained in Switzerland, others went to Belgium and France.
The publication of Gracie's picture and an article in "Atout Chat", the French cat lovers' magazine, caused an outright sensation. Many breeders wanted to have a cat like Gracie, everybody being particularly charmed by her wonderful blue eyes. Regine Lohre (Cattery Du Clos Des Anges) contacted Mary Harrington with the intention of purchasing a kitten, that is, a blue-eyed point kitten. However, the kittens having orange-coloured eyes Mrs. Harrington offered Gracie instead. Although Regine thought it was strange to give away such a celebrity she soon decided to accept this offer.
On January 19, 1992, her birthday, Regine travelled to Switzerland together with friends of hers in order to pick up Gracie. Gracie was very nervous, and Mrs. Harrington gave Regine a sedative, which she was told to administer Gracie for the ride. In addition, she advised her to initially keep Gracie away at home from the other animals because she was aggressive. After a few minutes in the car, however, Gracie sat on Regine's lap (without the sedative) and slept happily away all during the ride. At home, Regine opened the kennel, and Gracie greeted the other cats of the household amiably and without a trace of agression. When Regine went to bed Gracie followed her, laid down on her cushion, paws around her neck, head beside Regine's.

Diabolo Du Clos Des GuillouxTwo days later Gracie contracted an allergy, and Regine had to take her to the vet every other day and to install an air-purifying system in her house. When Gracie had recovered she had to be vaccinated because she had not received her vaccinations in the previous year.
Regine intended to mate Gracie with a blue-point Himalayan tom cat that belonged to a friend of her's. She had a blue-point Birman tom cat (Diabolo Du Clos Des Guilloux) which bore a strong resemblance to Himalayans. Diabolo and Gracie went along very well, and he served Gracie without Regine's knowledge. Only when Gracie began eating and drinking more (she had always drunk a lot) Regine took her to the vet who found that Gracie was pregnant.
Hagatha Du Clos des AngesOn April 3, 1992 Gracie had her kittens: 6 curly blue-point (Gracie was homozygous), 3 tom and 3 she-kittens, one of them long-haired with perfect white socks (Heloisa du Clos des Anges). This was the first Selkirk Rex litter born in France and the first Colourpoint litter in Europe! Gracie was perfect as a mother. Before the kittens were 3 months only the father was allowed to approach them. The remaining cats had to wait longer to be allowed to play with them. These babies did not suffer from allergies, three of them, however, had to undergo surgery because of umbilical hernia at the age of 4 months.
In August 1992 Heloisa moved in with 2 ladies in Saarlouis. She was the first Selkirk Rex in Germany. Regine found a friendly new home for 2 males, too, keeping one robust male (Heli) and one female for herself (Hagatha Du Clos des Anges).
Despite her robust look Gracie was very sensitive and fragile, kept suffering from allergies and always drank too much. In August her eyes slowly started to dim, and once again Regine had to take her to the vet. He decided to keep her over the weekend for observation. Unfortunately the vet could not do anything for Gracie. Thus on August 23, 1992 she closed her beautiful blue eyes for good. Autopsy revealed that the liver was considerably swollen und full of blood inclusions. According to the vet Gracie had suffered from this disease for a long time. This disease was the reason for her drinking so much more than the other cats. Regine and also all her other cats mourned her for a long time. Gracie's "husband" Diabolo was totally changed. He hardly ate and completely retreated into himself. Finally on July 10, 1993 he followed Gracie into the Feline Paradise.

Gracie's Heritage

Ipanema Girl Du Clos Des AngesRegine got the very amiable blue-point Exotic male named Plata Kits Hali-Baba-Cool from Germany as a mate for Hagatha. In January 1993 Helie, Hagatha's brother, was neutered. On March 10, 1993 Hagatha had her kittens (3 males and 3 females with a minimum weight of 190 g per kitten!) by way of a Cesarean and was neutered, too. As all the kittens had a curly fur G. A. Patigny, the S.C.F.F president in Paris, concluded that they were fathered by Helie.
Regine took three weeks of in order to take optimum care of the babies. Unfortunately, however, a few weeks later the three robust long-haired males died of pneumonia or allergies. At the age of 6 months two of the females had to undergo surgery because of umbilical hernia.
Regine found a new home for the two long-haired females, the delicate Ipanenma Girl remaining with Regine. At the age of two years and six months Ch. Ipanema Girl Du Clos Des Anges she had her first litter, and if Regine had not helped her she would have died because the vet did not pay enough attention. She had eight babies: five males and three females, seven of them with a curly fur and one with short straight hair, all of them in perfect health. They had been fathered by Ch. Plata Kits Hali-Baba-Cool.

In 1996 Ipanema had her second litter and was neutered, too. Regine kept three kittens out of the first litter: long-haired male Las Vegas, Ladie-Lane and Love and Peace. Eur.Ch. Las Vegas was neutered shortly afterwards.
Before Regine had Ladie-Lane neutered she tried back-mating her with her Exotic father Hali-Baba. The resulting litter consisted of four short-haired Curlies, one Devon and one Sphinx with an allergy against cats' hair! The latter ones were of course neu-tered and are still living with Regine.
Ch. Ipanema Girl Du Clos Des Anges as well as Eur.Ch. Ladie Lane Du Clos Des Anges and Eur.Ch. Love and Peace Du Clos Des Anges are to be found in a lot of your German Selkirk Rex pedigrees.
Since 1995/96 some "fledgelings" have entered German catteries, bred not only by Regine Lohre but also by other breeders in France. In 1998 Regine's lifetime companion Richard Delatron became a member of Grand Prix e.V. He chose "of Flowkaty" as the new cattery name for Selkirk Rex, thus abolishing the cattery name "Du Clos Des Anges".
Love and Peace du Clos des AngesOctoppusy of FlowkatyWe did not start our cattery with the purchase of a "fledgeling" but by mating our blue-tabby-point British Gr.Int.Ch. Blueberry's Eliza Doolittle with Regine´s blue-tabby-point Selkirk Octoppusy of Flowkaty. We had 3 curly and 2 smooth-furred shorthaired blue-tabby-point babies. Octopussy's great-great-grandparents are Hali-Baba and Ipanema-Girl, his grandfather is Love and Peace du Clos des Anges, and his mother is Mama-Bluechep of Flowkaty.
Let me say here thank you very much to Regine Lohre for taking such loving care for Gracie during the last months of her short life and for providing me with generous support. Without it I could not have written Gracie's story. I think all this uniquely demonstrates the difficulties a pioneer has to face when raising a new breed. We should be truly grateful for such committed breeders as Jeri Newman and Regine Lohre who have paved the way for us to raise such a beautiful breed as our Selkies without the problems they had to cope with. Therefore we should co-operate in enhancing our genetic pool and in eliminating such problems as occurred at the beginning of Selkirk history.
Other sources: Wendy McGuire: Selkirk Rex Breed Club: History of the Selkirk Rex; Wendy McGuire: Cat World International, March/April 1990; Selkirk Serenade (Official Newsletter of the Selkirk Rex Society), September/October 1990, January-March 1991, January-March 1992.

CFA Breed Standard: Selkirk Rex

GENERAL: the Selkirk Rex is the result of a dominant, spontaneous mutation that causes each hair (guard, down and awn) to have a gentle wave or curl giving the coat a soft feel. This is a medium to large cat with heavy boning that gives the cat surprising weight and an impression of power. Females may be less massive than males but not dainty in appearance. The Selkirk Rex is an active cat with a sweet and endearing personality.
HEAD: Skull: round, broad and full-cheeked in both males and females. Round underlying bone structure with no flat planes. Muzzle: the muzzle is medium width. The underlying bone structure is rounded with well-padded whisker pads to give the impression of squareness. The length is equal to the width. Profile shows a short muzzle, clearly visible beyond the curve of the cheek. The tip of the chin lines up with the tip of the nose and the upper lip in the same vertical plane. Profile reveals a nose stop. The nose has a downward slant with a convex curve and is set below the eye line. Chin: firm and well-developed, balanced in proportion to rest of head. Ears: medium in size, broad at the base, tapering, set well apart. Should fit into (without distorting) the rounded contour of the head. Furnishings, if present, are curly. Eyes: large, rounded, set well apart. The eyes should not appear almond or oval-shaped and should be placed on the same horizontal plane when viewed from the front.
BODY: Torso: medium to large and well-balanced. The substantial muscular torso is more rectangular than square, but not long. Back is straight with a slight rise to the hindquarters. Shoulders and hip should appear to be the same width. Legs: medium to long. Substantial boning. Should be in proportion to the body. Feet: large, round, and firm. Toes: five in front, four behind. Tail: medium length, proportionate to body. Heavy at base, neither blunt nor pointed at tip.
COAT: Texture: the coat texture is soft, plushy, full and obviously curly. Density: the coat is dense and full with no bald or thinly covered areas of the body. The coat stands out from the body and should not appear flat or close-lying. Curl: this is a random, unstructured coat, arranged in loose, individual curls. The curls appear to be in clumps rather than as an all-over wave. Although curl varies by hair length, sex and age in an individual, entire coat should show the effect of the rex gene. Curliness may be evident more around the neck, on the tail and the belly. Allowance should be made for less curl on younger adults and kittens. Coat length: two lengths - short and long. The differences in coat length are most obviously seen on the tail and ruff. On the shorthairs the tail hair is the same length as the coat (approximately 1 -2 ) and tail curls are plush and lie compactly around the tail. The ruff is the same length as the coat fur. On the longhairs, the tail curls are plumy and stand out away from the tail. The hair length is obviously long. The ruff hairs are also longer and frame the face.
PENALIZE: Excessive cobbiness or sleek oriental appearance.
DISQUALIFY: Extreme nose break, lack of visible muzzle, malocclusion, tail kinks, crossed eyes, obvious physical deformities, including polydactl feet, no evidence of curl.

  Selkirk Rex allowable outcross breeds:
British Shorthair, Persian, or Exotic.
Kittens born before January 1, 1998 may also show American Shorthair.
Kittens born on or after January 1, 2010 may have only Selkirk Rex or British Shorthair parents.
Kittens born on or after January 1, 2015 may have only Selkirk Rex parents.
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