In 1951, Dr Rose Scheuer-Karpin adopted a stray cat that was wandering around Hufeland Hospital in what was then East Germany. The black curly-haired cat had a couple of unspectacular litters sired by local toms. But when she was bred to one of her sons, two of the four kittens that resulted had their mother’s wavy hair.
The kittens’ astrakhan-style coats fascinated French cat fancier Etienne Letard, who imported one to France. For a time, Professor Letard and Dr Scheuer-Karpin continued developing German Rex kittens.
Despite their efforts, the German Rex is almost unobtainable today. The type has remained the same over two decades: fairly heavy bone structure, roundish head, wide-bone structure, roundish head, wide-set ears and a thick tail. The fur is dense and curls all over in irregular waves.