The Devon Rex is a relatively young breed. It was first recognized by the ACFA in 1972, then in CFA and TICA in 1979. They originated in Devonshire, England, in the late 1950s when a Miss Beryl Cox found that a stray cat in her care had given birth to a rather odd looking curly-haired kitten. Lucky for us, she knew enough to breed this cat back to others and was able to create more curly kitties, starting a new breed of cat from a natural mutation, the Devon Rex.
In the 1980s, young Anita White and her mother Marion were in England, as Marion’s husband was serving at a base there. Marion and Anita brought several home to start an American breeding program for the Devon Rex.
Anita was also an artist – and we have her to thank for the current look of the Devon Rex. She drew the outlines for the current Devon Rex breed standard. She helped breeders to understand the correct look of the face, placement of the ears, and helped breeders by giving a visual representation of the desired standard.
Anita’s drawings are still used to guide us as to how the Devon Rex should look. The Judge’s training for the breed presentation in CFA credits Anita for capturing the ideal Devon look. These drawings were part of the original Planet Devon in approximately 2001. We are happy to return them to the current Planet Devon. As best we can determine, these drawings first appeared in an article by Ann Gibney, “Why There Are Two” about the differences between the Cornish and the Devon. Thank you to Anita White for using her talent to help define one of our favorite breeds of cat!