Known as the sacred cat of Burma, Birman is a beautiful cat breed with semi-longhaired coat of color-point pattern. Though available in various shades, one of the features that remain constant is their white paws. While the male Birman weighs between 5 to 6 kilos, the females are smaller and have a weight of about 3.5 or 4 kilos. Birman cats are affectionate, sweet natured and make great pals. Though they are originally believed to be from Burma, their connection with France is somewhat mysterious. To know more about the history, appearance and personality of Birman cats, read through the following lines.
Sacred Cat of Burma
Originated from Burma, Birman cats are tagged as sacred companion of the
Kittah priests. The guardians of the temple of Lao-Tsun were yellow eyed
cats with long hair. The golden goddess of the temple had crystal clear
blue eyes. The head priest, Mun-Ha also carried a cat, named Sinh, as
his companion. One day, when the temple was attacked and Mun-Ha was
killed, Sinh placed his feet on his master and faced the goddess.
While the white fur got a golden tint to it, his eyes turned blue, as
the goddess and the legs and tail that were touching the ground turned
into the shade of the earthy color. However, the paws that were on top
of the priest remained white. Surprisingly, all the other temple cats
also changed into the similar colors. A week after, Sinh even died. It
is believed that he took the soul of Mun-Ha to paradise.
There are two different versions of how Birman cats came to France.
According to the first version, Major Russell Gordon and August Pavie
brought the cat to France. When the Kittahs were facing a catastrophe,
set off by the Brahmins, the two gentlemen saved the former sect. In
return, the Kittahs expressed their gratitude and thankfulness by
presenting the two a pair of Birman cats. Though the male died during
the journey, the female survived and luckily she was in kitten.
According to the second version, an American millionaire, Mr Vanderbilt,
stole a pair of Birman cats from his unfaithful servant who came from
the temple of Lao-Tsun. The millionaire then gave the pair to a French
lady. Though the female kitty survived, the male cat died in the
journey. It is believed that the female cat was outcrossed to a like
breed. It was in 1950, that pure Birman offsprings were produced.
However, it was only in 1965 that the Birman cats were restored and
recognized in Britain. A year later, they were recognized by the Cat
Fanciers' Association (CFA).
The ideal Birman is a large, strongly built, elongated and stocky cat.
In comparison to the other cat types, Birman have long, silky hair with
a semi-cobby body. This might come to you as a surprise but all Birmans
are born white. The color starts developing only after a week or two
weeks. While in the first week, Birmans have dark color, it is only
after two weeks that they have clearer color such lilac. The ears, nose
and tail are the initial places, wherein color first develops. It is
only after two years that the cat displays its actual color.
According to the standard norm, a Birman's body is generally eggshell
color or golden, depending on the marking. The marking vary from being
pure seal, chocolate, blue, red, lilac or cream. Mostly Birmans boasts
of sapphire colored eyes, which remain the same throughout their life.
One of the distinctive characteristics of Birman cats is that they have
fingers and toes that are in pure white color.
People friendly, Birman cats like to be amidst the inhabitants of the
house. They mostly have a soft voice. There are some Birmans who love to
sit beside their owner and purr softly for hours. Though the kittens
might demand their owner's attention, after they get it, they settle
down at a distant place and allow him/her to continue with the work.
Birmans are deemed as intelligent, intuitive, inquisitive, charming,
curious, playful, and dignified cats. They are explorative in nature and
can spend hours exploring new things. Extremely family oriented, Birmans
love life and their life basically revolves around their family.