(Devon) Rex #atozchallenge

Rex is the Latin word for king, which has nothing to do with what I’m going to talk about.

A few years ago, Mary and I decided that we wanted to adopt a purebred cat. We researched the breeds and Mary discovered the Devon Rex. Most cats have three types of hair, guard hair, awn hair, and down hair; the Devon Rex has no guard hair and little awn hair, so their coat is curly (or “rexed”), like sheep’s wool. They have great big ears and pointed faces with curly whiskers. Some Devons have bald spots on them. But it’s their personality that sets them apart: someone compared them to a combination of a cat, a dog, and a monkey, with a mischievous toddler thrown in there for good measure.

There was a breeder in the Atlanta area, and she had a cat that had been returned that needed a home. Soon, Mary and I were the people for a pretty girl named Coconut Curl, a/k/a Connie.

Connie, sitting on my monitor

Connie had some major health issues and died less than a year later. I wrote to the breeder to let her know, and she put us on the list for one of the new kittens they were expecting. About three months later, Milton came to live with us.

Milton, hiding in my office

Milton was a sweet little guy who took immediately to Mary. He’d follow her around, and when she sat down he would immediately climb into her lap. On more than one occasion, when Mary would be bent down looking in a cabinet or something, Milton would jump onto her back and hold on for dear life, digging his claws into her to try and keep from falling off. We learned early on that Milton was not really the brightest crayon in the box: If Mary had been in her “office” in the basement and had come back upstairs, he would still be in the basement, scratching at the door. Or, she would have been on the second floor and returned to the living room, and a few minutes later we’d hear him crying for her. Mary would call “Milton! I’m down here!” (or “I’m up here!”), and he would run from wherever he was and let out a little cry, as if to say, “Oh, there you are!”

Having very little hair, Milton got cold pretty easily, and he would climb into the laundry basket when we brought clean clothes up from the basement. I know, every cat does that, but in Milton’s case, he needed to, and since he really didn’t shed, it didn’t cause too many problems. He was very warm to the touch, and when he’d sleep next to Mary they would keep each other warm. He was like a little furnace.

We brought home a couple of kittens, who we named Minnie and Max. Pretty soon Milton and Max were inseparable: they’d sleep together, and Milton would groom Max. One day, he coughed up a hairball, something Devons don’t usually do.

Milton went to the Rainbow Bridge a couple of years ago, and both Mary and I still miss him.

35 thoughts on “(Devon) Rex #atozchallenge

  1. I don’t know but something about that cat kinda creeps me out. I mean, I’m not really a pet person anyway but I don’t think I could have one of those around all the time. I need more fur or something.

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    1. They are a bit other-worldly looking, with the big ears and pointed face, and the lack of a heavy coat of fur takes some getting used to. What they lack in looks is more than made up for by their personality, which is really the reason to get one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awwwww, my condolences on your lost loves. I am none to familiar with Rainbow Bridge. We have two black labs there that we miss very much. I’m sure cats and dogs get along there too! Your kitty was absolutely beautiful and it’s so fun at the silly things they do. Thanks for sharing. HAPPY EASTER my friend to you and your lovely wife. Have a great weekend. hugs

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  3. I’m so sorry he got such a huge hairball which sounds like what brought on his demise. How are the other 2 pussy cats? Hope they are well. Traveled to the states to visit my cousin so off and on here

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  4. Heartwarming story. We always had cats when I was growing up. Either purebred Siamese or Heinz 57 variety. The last cat I had for 16 years — a pound kitten.

    I am sorry for your loss. They sure find their way into our hearts.

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        1. The ones that live the longest are the domestic shorthairs. I think the random breeding toughens them up. We had several DSH’s that lived to twenty. With purebreds you end up with a lot of inbreeding, and that’s not particularly good…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. And a lot of fun to have around. Ours didn’t get into too much mischief. We have a friend that fostered a couple of them, and they were just nuts, getting into everything, climbing the drapes and (I don’t know how they did this) sitting on picture frames that were hanging on the wall. She was looking for a new home for them, and Mary was tempted, but I think they’d’ve driven her to distraction.

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      1. Oh my!! I can relate. When we cat-sat for my son, we had those issues. Not sitting on picture frames but balancing on the soffit over the kitchen sink and fridge. Like little billy goats on a cliff teetering over the edge.
        They never fell and nothing was ever broken and we had lots of decorative glass up there. I will add amazing to my adjective list in addition to beautiful.

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    1. Not that it matters, but Devons are actually good cats for people with allergies. The lack of fur means they don’t have the dander.

      They are kind of strange-looking. I think they have some Siamese in them, and there are some Siamese that look very strange. But they’re wonderful pets and a lot of fun to have around.

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  5. John,

    Connie looks mad or is that her purrsonality showing forth. Melton’s appearance is totally the opposite. I see that he’s a happier, sweeter kitty. I have never been partial to cats with super short or really long fur, I like normal fur length. 🙂 I’m sorry y’all miss Melton still but you have some good memories of him. Hopefully, you got a new one to fill the void.

    A2Z Little Mermaid art sketch series with ‘Ray-Ray

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    1. Connie was a really sweet kitty, but as I mentioned she had health issues (mostly stemming from a previous owner that didn’t know how to take care of her). Like Milton, she was a little furnace, and used to sleep beside me. I knew she wasn’t well when she started to cool down.

      We’re out of the cat business: we have two left, and when they go, the nest is empty. We’re getting older and don’t have the energy we did, and cats can live 20 years or more, a fact we remind ourselves of every time we start thinking “a kitten would be fun…”

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  6. I love Devons. We had one, a silver spotted devon rex. She was called Ducati (after the motorbike) but we called her Cati for short. She was a pretty smart cat and if you did something to upset her (The Hub often teased her) she’d remember and hours later would lie in wait and attack. I remember The Hub running down the hallway worried where she might be hiding to leap out and get her revenge.

    She was my little hot water bottle as well and liked to sleep under the covers of our bed at my feet in winter. I miss her terribly still, even these many years later.

    We got her because of the breeds hypoallergenic status (I’m a very allergic cat lover), but as she aged I became more prone to reacting to her. Sadly this meant after she passed (at the age of 12) we couldn’t get another for my health reasons. Devastated, because that gorgeous girl converted us into Devon Rex fans, hands down.

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    1. No cat is totally hypoallergenic, but the Devon comes as close to it as possible. I suppose the Sphinx would be closer…

      Like any purebred cat, they don’t have the lifespan that non-purebreds do. There’s something about the random breeding that makes them stronger. I guess it’s a lot like European royalty…

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