More times than not, people can easily identify a Siamese or a Persian out of a lineup of cats. Both breeds are considered rare because they’re purebred, but they’re more popular and prominent than, for example, a Sokoke cat.
Because of that, pedigree cats are considered as scarce as hen’s teeth and are adored by millions and millions of humans around the world. But how rare, then, are the breeds you’ve never even heard of?
Well, turns out that the number of breeds that have been officially accepted by international cat associations ranges between 44 and 73, depending on which association you take as a reference.
Cat Fanciers’ Association points out that not more than two to four percent of owned cats make the pedigreed cut, which would mean that all purebred cats are rare.
Contrary to popular belief, most people own average moggies, rescued off the street, or adopted from a shelter (quite an admirable act, might we add).
Now, that might be why most cats that take the internet by storm and become TikTok or Instagram sensations overnight belong to a rare breed, suffer from some sort of a genetic mutation that makes them stand out, or – simply put – appear rare.
Grumpy Cat, for example, was a Domestic Shorthair with feline dwarfism that donned a permanently disappointed facial expression. Lil Bub, another famous feline, suffered from dwarfism, too, but he had osteoporosis, an undeveloped jaw, and no teeth.
We’re bringing you a story about another famous feline that happens to belong to a rare breed you’ve never heard of. Meet Pompous Albert, a Selkirk Rex cat with a permanently angry face.
Pompous Albert managed to rack up tens of thousands of fans on Instagram within the first few weeks of posting, thanks largely to his angry face and unique curly coat. Yes, you read that right – Pompous Albert is one of the rare cats with curly coats. Let’s start from the beginning of the story, shall we?
Albert was set to become a show cat as a purebred Selkirk Rex that had a lot to show to the world. Sure, Albert was a curious creature considering the curly coat, piercing amber eyes, and angry appearance. But the show’s board thought that Alber’s head wasn’t big enough to compete.
When Albert’s owners figured out that the poor thing wasn’t going to compete or win money, they decided to give him up. And that’s how Albert ended up at Mike and Susan Singleton’s home.
Mike and Susan were asked by a former employee to adopt a “unique-looking” cat that didn’t have anywhere to go and was going to end up at a shelter. At the time, Mike and Susan were already taking care of two rescue cats at their local business office in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Additionally, the two didn’t know whether Albert would appreciate the company of two average moggies with no pedigree whatsoever. Albert appeared angry, snarky, and mean, and the two didn’t want to cause an uproar between the cats.
Albert looked like he was perpetually cranky, but he really wasn’t. When Mike and Susan agreed to welcome Albert at the office, they were surprised by how warm, affectionate, and appreciative he was.
He was obsessed with both of them (and the cats) from the get-go and wasn’t scared of the fact that he was surrounded by strangers. He was born to be an office cat.
He spent most of the time sitting on the keyboard, fighting with the printer, and digging through the filing cabinet. He was more than happy to nap on the office chair and hide behind the monitor.
Mike and Susan decided to name the Selkirk Rex cat Albert after Albert Einstein – the resemblance was uncanny. With an unruly curly coat, a rugged frame, and an unkempt appearance, he looked like he was working on the Theory of Relativity.
Albert was absolutely adored from the moment he entered Mike and Susan’s office. As a Selkirk Rex, he attracted a lot of attention, but he wasn’t annoyed by that whatsoever. Selkirk Rex cats are rare and Mike and Susan’s friends weren’t expecting Albert to be as chill as he was.
Talking about the breed, Selkirk Rex cats are the closest you can get to owning a live teddy bear. These huggable kitties are typically graced with round heads, huge eyes, and wooly, curly coats. They’re a sight for sore eyes, that’s for sure. They’re even embellished with curly whiskers!
Pompous Albert might appear pompous, but the breed is not a member of aristocracy or nobility like a lot of the other popular, prominent breeds. Selkirk Rex cats started at an animal shelter in Montana in 1987 with a fluffy, wooly kitten named Miss DePesto.
Miss DePesto might have been a result of a mistake or a genetic mutation, but she went on to become the “mother cat” of the Selkirk Rex breed. With time, breeders added breeds such as the Persian, Exotic Shorthair, and British Shorthair to create the Selkirk Rex we know and adore today.
With that out of the way, we do need to mention that Pompous Albert was the most famous representative of the breed with more than 300K followers on Instagram, car commercial cameos, and magazine cover appearances.
Pompous Albert, the Selkirk Rex cat that snatched everyone’s hearts, passed away on a Wednesday evening. On March 31, 2022, Mike and Susan took to Instagram to share Albert’s final farewell.
“Oh, what a ride, so I’m off to the rainbow bridge where I shall hang out with new friends eternally in a never-ending sunny spot. Oh, what is the office going to do without me?” the post read.
Albert’s owners reassured everyone that he passed away “suddenly and painlessly” and that he had a happy and healthy life before that. We salute you, Albert, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed you’re making everyone happy wherever you are.