15 Delightful Cat Breeds’ Origins

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ThinkStock

Here are the stories of how 15 delightful breeds started meowing.

1. Selkirk Rex

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Most new breeds are built from the birth of just one or two special kittens—as was the case in 1987 with a feral cat mom in Montana. That cat had five kittens, with one standing out from the pack, thanks to her thick and curly hair. The special kitty ended up with a Persian breeder who steadily bred the feral cat into its own breed—the Selkirk Rex, which you might now know as “the poodle cat.”

2. Highlander Cats

There can only be one! At least, that was the thinking that went into the creation of the Highlander back in 2004. Breeders specifically aimed to make a new domestic cat breed that had the appearance of a wild “big cat,” and went about doing that by carefully crossbreeding other domestic felines. As big and powerful as the Highlanders may look, they are known for their amusing antics and affection. They are very high energy and are best amused with fun chase games and lots of human attention.

3. Scottish Folds

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Originally called “lop-eared” or “lops” (like lop-eared rabbits!), all Scottish Folds spring from one lovely lady feline—a Scottish (obviously) white barn cat named Susie who was first found in 1961. Susie’s ears had a special fold in the middle, giving her a quizzical and owl-like look and when Susie had her first litter, two of them had that same fold!

4. Ragamuffin Cats

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You may have heard of ragdoll cats, but have you met their “Ragamuffin” cousins? The breed first popped up in 1994 as a spin-off of the still new ragdoll distinction, one that was eventually beefed up by way of crossbreeding with Persians, Himalayans, and other domestic longhaired cats. Ragamuffins still share plenty of characteristics with the original breed—like being extremely affectionate with their owners, to the point that they “go limp like ragdolls” when being held. They love people so much that they’ll wait at the door for their family members to return before following them around the house.

5. Khaomanee

While the Khaomanee may have ancient roots, it’s taken whole centuries for this very special breed to be formally recognized. Originally from Thailand, it’s easy to spot a Khaomanee—after all, each of them comes with one blue eye and one eye of another color (all different variations of copper, yellow, and green) to offset their stunning white coats. Despite their intense appearance, Khaomanees are playful, social, curious, and remarkably adept at greeting and cuddling up with even new guests to their home.

6. Donskoy Cats

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In 1987, a Russian professor rescued a kitten, only to have the cat lose all of her hair as she matured. When the cat had her first litter a few years later, some of her kittens were born completely without hair, and those who did have hair promptly lost it, just like their mom. One of her kittens was steadily bred into its own new breed—the Don Sphynx or the Donskoy—and the line has matured into a very smart, very affectionate new type of cat.

7. Minskin

There is nothing quite like a Minskin, a new breed of shorties with fur only at certain points. The result of careful breeding of Munchkins and Sphynx, Minskins are very affectionate and very agile, despite their short stature. What little fur they do have is extremely soft and comparable to cashmere (adorable!).

8. Ojos Azules

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It’s easy to see where the Ojos Azules get their name—it’s Spanish for “blue eyes,” and that’s what sets this breed (in both shorthair and longhair versions) apart from others. First found in 1984 in New Mexico, it is believed that most known Ojos Azules spring from one female ancestor. This mother was bred to unrelated males who didn’t have such sparkling peepers, but all of her kittens displayed her bright eyes, distinguishing the trait as a dominant one (and one easy to breed for).

9. Napoleon

Another adorable shortie breed, the Napoleon also comes from breeding between Munchkins and another very special breed—in this case, the Persian. The first Napoleons were bred back in 1996, when a Basset Hound breeder attempted to make a cat version of his beloved low-slung canine.

Aiming for a cute kitty with little legs, he crossed doll-faced Persians with small-legged Munchkins to make Napoleons (who are, yes, named after the French general). The breed is distinguishable by its looks alone, but they are also uniquely gentle and affectionate. While some Napoleons still have long legs, all are recognizable by virtue of their big, round heads and big, round eyes.

10. Burmilla

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A cross between a Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese, the British Burmilla was first introduced in 1981, reaching official breed status in the 1990s. Unlike other new breeds, the creation of the Burmilla was purely accidental—a left-open door allowed a Chinchilla Persian and a lilac Burmese to, ahem, meet up and make the cute new breed.

11. Sokoke

A native breed from Kenya’s Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Preserve, the Sokoke’s roots go back long enough that various tribes in the area all have experience with the exceptionally beautiful breed. They were first introduced into domesticity in 1978, when a pack of kittens were discovered by a local woman who eventually bred two of them together and started exporting the offspring to a friend who lived in Denmark at the time.

12. Pixiebob

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The Pixiebob could stand out in the cat crowd simply thanks to its cute name, but the big and brawny cats have a full package of other traits to make them unique. The Pixiebob, which first originated in 1985 in an effort to get a bobcat look, is the only recognized breed that is allowed to exhibit polydactyly (extra toes, though the maximum allowed on each foot is seven) and they can use those extra tootsies for trotting along with their family, as they can be leash trained for maximum fun.

13. Serengeti

Much like the Highlander, the Serengeti was bred to emulate a larger, wild cat—in this case, the stunning African serval. A breeding program was put into place back in 1995, and it continues around the world, particularly in the U.S., the UK, and Europe. A combination of Bengals and oriental shorthairs, Serengetis do not actually have any serval ancestors. Serengeti cats can be shy upon first meeting, but once they warm up to people (and other pets!), they are very affectionate and involved. They are also big athletes, and will consistently run around the house at full speed.

14. LaPerm

It’s easy to see where the LaPerm gets its name—it sure looks like the soft-shagged breed has gotten a perm to give its fur such a gentle wave. The first LaPerm was born in 1982 when a kitten came into the world hairless with a tabby pattern clear on her skin. As she grew, her fur steadily grew in, only to eventually turn into a soft and wavy full-body mane. When she had offspring of her own, some straight-coated kittens shed their original fur, went bald, and then grew their own curly locks. LaPerms are classified as clownish and clever, and they enjoy being around people and participating in everyday activities. Their ringlets tend to make them look angelic, and their affectionate personalities only bolster that.

15. Toyger

If nothing else, the Toyger breed is a winner by virtue of their adorable name alone. Like the Highlanders and Serengetis, the Toygers were bred to resemble tigers, thanks to their “mackerel tabby” markings that look more like tiger stripes than regular tabby lines. Toygers were first bred in the late 1980s in an attempt to clarify such markings, and a new breed was born from the tiger-like ideal. While Toygers don’t look exactly like mini tigers, their fur color is typically an alluring combo of orange and black.

14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 Great Gifts for Teens

Fjallraven/Polaroid
Fjallraven/Polaroid

If it’s been a few years since you were a teenager, you might be feeling at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the teen in your life. But you don’t have to worry—we’ve culled the internet to figure out what’s cool these days, and we found 10 items to suit any teen (and any price point).

1. Fjällräven Kånken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday; $70

Fjällräven/Amazon

Fjällräven’s Kånken backpack was originally introduced in 1978 as an affordable and comfortable bag for Swedish schoolchildren, but it recently took off as a trend among American high schoolers and college students. With 43 different color options, chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect trendy backpack for the teen in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle; $30–$35

Hydro Flask/Amazon

Hydro Flasks aren’t only trendy, they’re sturdy and environmentally friendly. Plus, they keep hot drinks warm and icy drinks cool for an absurdly long amount of time. The standard-mouth water bottle is currently available on Amazon in 17 different colors, but the brand also offers tumbler cups and coffee mugs depending on your niece/nephew/cousin/friend/child’s preference.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Bluetooth-Connected Instant Film Camera; $140

Polaroid Originals/Amazon

Teens can kick it back old school with this Polaroid camera that hides some surprisingly contemporary features. Using a special app, users can fine-tune their camera settings to suit their personal tastes. Plus, this camera makes it possible to capture two scenes in a single frame, so it's that much easier to create uniquely artsy Polaroid pics.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 4th-Generation Echo Dot with Clock; $60

Amazon

Tech-wise, the fourth-generation Echo Dot is almost identical to its third-generation predecessor. But the updated spherical design seems poised to make the Echo Dot a worthy contender for traditional alarm clocks—the speaker face shows the time and it even includes a tap-to-snooze function for drowsy sleepers.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Bubble Tea Kit; $38

Uncommon Goods

Part of the reason bubble tea is so popular is that it’s customizable—and what could be more customizable than making it yourself? This kit, made by an Atlanta-based couple, comes with two reusable straws and enough supplies to make up to eight servings.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

6. Mixtape Card Game; $20

Uncommon Goods

This party game challenges players to find the perfect songs to suit specific prompts. Some cards might prompt players to use Spotify or Youtube to search for the songs with the best guitar solos, while other cards call for participants to play their “favorite slow dance love jam from junior high.” This game is sure to be a hit at any high school sleepover or house party—or, in true 2020 style, at any digital hangout or Zoom meeting.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

7. Giant Flour Tortilla Throw Blanket; $18-$35

Mermaker/Amazon

This goofy double-sided blanket turns any human into a giant-size burrito, and it comes in four different sizes to suit any height. One reviewer even went so far as to say that “once you wrap yourself in it, you will be convinced that you are a burrito.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Cup of Destiny; $22

Shelter Harbor Press/Amazon

Here’s a prediction: Your hunt for the perfect gift is almost over. This kit is ideal for the teenager who is fascinated by the supernatural and loves exploring new ideas. Included, you’ll find a 96-page illustrated instruction book along with a cup and a saucer marked with patterns and symbols.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Wreck This Journal: Now in Color; $9

Penguin Books/Amazon

This journal is not intended to be pretty. It’s made for messiness and exploration and a little bit of chaos. Artistic-minded teens will love filling out pages that prompt them to catalog various stains or poke holes through the paper. Reviewers say it’s not only a source of creative inspiration, though—it’s also a stress reliever. And considering that the middle-school and high-school years aren’t exactly known for being relaxing, this journal could be a welcome reprieve from the daily pressure of managing homework and a social life.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Therapy Dough; $15

Uncommon Goods

Some teens focus better and relax more easily when they have something to fidget with. If the teen in your life fits that description, this therapy dough may be the perfect gift for them. Each 4.5-ounce container is infused with essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, orange, or pine, making relaxation smell delicious (and all natural!).

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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