Note: I believe in retrospect that the cat above is a Cornish Rex as the hair is short. I can’t find a certain picture of this cat at present.
Another name for the California Rex cat is the Marcel Cat. A long-haired Rex cat was discovered in California in 1959.
I’ll quote Dr Desmond Morris for its history, if I may:
“This breed originated from two cats found in an animal shelter in San Bernadino, California – an odd eyed tortoiseshell female called ‘Mystery Lady’ and her son, a red tabby. They were rescued by a Mrs Blancheri and acquired by cat breeders Bob and Dell Smith, who mated the female with her son to produce a wavy-coated offspring – a red tabby – with even longer, silkier hair. The Marcel Cat, as the Smiths christened it, was later used in crossing experiments with shorthaired Rex Cats, but there seems to have been a general lack of interest in the breed in its own right.”
The coat is a Rex coat but the fur is longer resulting in Marcel waving which as I understand it is a hair style for women from the 1920s.
This cat breed is rare or has completely fizzled out. I am not sure. I don’t list it and it is not registered with the major US cat associations: TICA and the CFA. It is a curiosity today and an example of a failed cat breed. A good thing if we are brutally honest because there are too many.
There is another cat with ‘California’ in its name, which is as rare and no longer bred as far as I am aware, the California Spangled. In its day it was the world’s most expensive cat.