Meet the Birman
Birmans are amazing cats! Their personalities set them apart from other traditional cats. They are sweet, curious, interactive, loving, and playful. They are very social and prefer to be with you. A Birman would rather be in your lap than on the floor. In our household, we can call one individually by name and they will come. When visitors come over, our cats come out to see who is here versus the cat-cat who prefers to hide and approach in their own time. Birmans cuddle, sleep with you, watch TV with you, escort you to the bathroom, assist with your bath, walk with you, readily purr at the touch of a hand or even a spoken word, and in general, want to be with you.
Birmans are soft silky beautiful animals. Their coats are medium long without a double undercoat, so grooming is at a minimum. All Birmans are color pointed cats. That means their face, ears, legs, and tail have a particular color and their body is a creamy golden tinged white color. All Birmans have white feet on all four paws. They come in a variety of colors. The dark brown seal point is the most popular with the grey-blue blue point in close second. They also come in chocolate- a cinnamon reddish brown, lilac- a lighter blue tending toward purplish, red, cream- a red with under tones of blue across the nose leather, and the mix of red/cream with the seal, blue, lilac, chocolate colors for the tortie/cream point girls. Tabby or lynx point coloring stripes all of the colors to create 20 different unique looks within the Birman cat family.
The Legend of the Sacred Cat of Burma
The Birman
The Kittah religion of the Khmer peoples existed in Burma before the birth of Christ. The people built beautiful temples for their priests and the sacred white temple cats. It was believed that each cat Carried the soul of a priest and the cats were venerated And treated like gods. When the Brahman religion became Widespread in Burma, the Kittah priests were persecuted and their cats were killed.
As the Legend tells it, one evening, as the Most High Priest, the beloved Mun-Ha, and his beautiful cat, Sinh, were in meditation before the goddess, Tsun-Kyan-Kse, the raiders attacked the temple of Lao-Tsun, and the old priest was killed. At the instant of Mun-Ha’s death, Sinh placed his feet on the head of his fallen master and faced Tsun-Kyan-Kse. A golden light radiated from the goddess, which darkened the points of Sinh’s coat and left him with a tinge of her golden beauty. His eyes became the sapphire blue of the goddess’ eyes, and his feet, which touched the head of his fallen master, remained pure white. The priests were so amazed by this transformation that they renewed the battle and drove the heathens from the temple. They then made an escape into Tibet.
Two men, Major Russell Gorden from England and August Pavie from France, were very helpful to the priests and helped them begin another temple where they could live in peace. So when the two men sailed for France in 1919, the priests sent a pair of the beautiful cats home with them. It was through this pair that the breed was established in France, England, and ultimately, the rest of the world.
The breed was promoted and shown in the 1960’s in the United States by Verner Clum of Gayland’s Cattery, and Gertrude Griswold of Griswold’s Cattery, and was accepted for championship competition by the Cat Fanciers Association, Inc., in 1967. Shortly afterward, they were accepted by the other major associations, and have grown in beauty and popularity ever since.
The Sacred Cat of Burma, or Birman, is still relatively rare. The coat is semi-long, with a silky texture that does not mat. These lovely cats have blue eyes, and a golden hue to the creamy body tone. The traditional, and most seen, color is the sealpoint, which is quite dramatic, with the striking contrast of the white “gloves” beneath the dark pointed legs. Other colors seen in the Birman are the bluepoint, chocolate point, and lilacpoint. The red gene has recently been accepted which produces tortiepoint and redpoint Birmans, and all the colors come in the tabby, or lynxpoint, pattern.
The Birmans are affectionate and loving cats, with an unusual amount of intelligence. Their voices are small and sweet, and they have a classic beauty and loving disposition, which makes them outstanding companion cats.
Juanita Rowley and William Ward
Caleita, the Birmans of Beavercreek
What can we say about kittens but they are soooo cuite!
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