Interplex: Uppervalley Breeders And The Tennessee Rex, TR carrier breeders

A bit of recent history

In 2012 two breeders took on the task of developing the Tennessee Rex. A breed that originated with a natural genetic change in a feral cat in Tennessee. The breed advanced from Experimental to Registration Only and then the advancement went on hold. The only known cats that were still in existence were held by the TICA Genetics Committee Chairperson, Dr. Solveig Pflueger. I agreed to work with the breed here in New England together with another breeder in Kentucky who took the zother cats. A year later I took the last two outcross cats that carried the special gene. We have worked with these cats independently and after four litters we finally have a kitten that received this special gene from both parents and we ave a curly hair kitten. The two sires that I have are both "markers" so they have been relegated to quarters that cna tolerate the marking, even though we as humans can not. This is one of the down sides of cat breeding.

For genetic diversity we use mates that are not part of a pedigreed line, selecting for the desired traits we need for the breed. We present here pictures of the breeders including the cats that were from our previous litters that are now queens in the program. More details will be added as time permits.

For now some pictures . . .

Our Tennessee Rex carriers sires and queens

This is our best carrier sire. He was one of the boys I received from Dr. Pflueger and is responsible for our curly hair kitten born in February, 2015. He is somewhat standoffish and will run from me but if cornered he accepts being petted. He also has a "way with the ladies (RW Highball Sprinter)" and even was accepted by Ginger, our second queen.

He recently was relocated to a new cattery in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where he will find new conquests in the coming months.
Our "gentlemen," a TR gene carrier, sire was a love bug and always greeted me when I came in his room. After spending his first year in our nearly finished spare bathroom with a consort we borrowed from nearby farm as well as our carrier female from Dr Pflueger we moved him to the downstairs bathroom in hopes he would sire a litter with the cat from Dr. Pflueger. He took over his new quarters and lost all interest in mating with our Solveig 4 after finding our young carrier Tigrett by a carefully planned escape from his private room. After that he became interested in only marking the doors, window, walls and everything else.

While this guy was a love bug it turned out that he became rather useless as a sire and was neutered. He has moved to a new home as a household pet.Neutering put an end to his marking, much to the relief of his new provider

UpperValley Highball Sprinter
UpperValley Highball Sprinter
Our queen Highball Sprinter

She is a TR carrier kitten from the male we shipped to our counterpart in Kentucky. There was one all red without white female in that litter of kittens that could carry the special gene. When she "grew up" we placed her with our best sire and she delivered Franklin, our first curly hair kitten. Highball Sprinter has delivered two litters of kittens each with at least one full Tennessee Rex youngster.

RW Highball Sprinter received a regional award as an kitten before she became one of our TR carrier queens. She had her final litter in November, 2016, and has retired. A very friendly cat.. She is registered with The International Cat Association as a household pet.

Just look at those eyes!
Just look at those eyes!

Queen Ginger has moved to another breeder in Canada and will be their queen for several litters before retiring.

Our kitten out of Queen Tigrett, and sired by one of the carrier males from Dr Pflueger. He did not fit in here and was sent to a breeder in Kentucky.

Ginger is a red tabby without white but is closer to cream rather than red. She delivered her last litter of kittens in August, 2016. Kittens from her litter have gone to new homes and she is looking for a nice family that would appreciate a lovely short hair tabby for companionship.


Ginger has moved to a second breeder on Victoria Island in British Columbia, Canada


Introducing Solveigs Scarlett

This queen is one of the TR carrier cats received from Dr. Pflueger. She has been a scared kitten from the start and would hide most of the time. She first was with the male who turned out to loose all interest in breeding and then she was placed with the male carrier who has shipped to Canada. No kittens yet. Last December she came out of her shell and began eating with the other cats began to purr loudly and then a surprise, she jumped into my lsao already full of other cats and has been very sociable ever since. Maybe the festive time or a good spirit. Whatever, She has also moved to the Island of Victoria, BC, CA

You may notice that all these breeder are red. Yes in keeping with the original curly hair kittens that started it all.


Information that follows on this page discuss our work prior to Dr. Pflueger's death in 2014 and the divestment of the Tennessee Rex project. Dr. Pflueger was our mentor and continues to be sorely missed. She was a true friend, a brilliant scientist and great TICA judge as well as looking after many projects including theatrical production -- and development of the Tennessee Rex.

The Tennessee Rex breeding was divested and moved to another cattery, UpperValley Cattery, to separate the breeding of pedigreed Siberians and Maine Coons , bred for pets, and the development of a new breed. This was done to meet draconian regulations pushed upon us by the United $tates Humaine $ociety through USDA. Breeders for development of new breeds or rescue of endangered species come under different rules than ordinary breeders working with cats for sale or for show.
UpperValley Enigma, One of our early Tennessee Rex kittens now grown up and retired.
She is nine years old now and still up to her usual tricks.
and then some.

This cat, a now spayed member of our family who lives up to her name was from previous breeding about ten years ago. She lost the expression of her curly hair and it was decided to pet her out. There are still signs of the curls but it's very limited.

Enigma was our third kitten from mating two cats that carried a single altered Tennessee Rex gene that produces curly fur and glitter. She was one of four from these matings. The other 12 kittens had normal fur but may have carried the "rex" gene. Since it is a recessive gene only kittens that receive the naturally altered gene from both parents will express the curly whiskers and fur.

Enigma is the right name for her. The loss of that curly expression was inexplicable. She was curly at birth then lost it. Then it came back and then she molted and lost most of her fur. We decided to spay her and offer her as a pet. It didn't work out. Being different, she was picked on and bullied. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Enigma came home to our cattery. Her new owner decided that the bullying was just too much and ask me to take her back. She returned to meet new and old friends and has adjusted well. There are signs that she just might become curly furred again. We will just have to wait and see . . .

The glitter is still there but it doesn't show well in the darker fur colors. Presently there is a hint of the curly hair on her legs

Page Revised 23 September 2017 @ 7pm
Copyright 2000-2018 by Gordon Pugh