There are not so many Burmese Cats in Russia – for reasons that are not at all mystical. Firstly, our niche of semi-long-haired cats was densely occupied by Siberians and Angoras, and recently they were replaced by Maine Coons. Secondly, sacred Burma is, oh, how difficult it is to breed.
I have heard, and more than once, that it is the most difficult of all existing breeds for a breeder. And although the first “our” Burmese, Petrouchka Accroshe-coeur de Plantamour, was imported from Switzerland by Eleonora Lenyova back in 1993, it is not possible to talk about serious breeding work.
Of course, no-no, they brought Burmese, and of good quality (for example, from Italian nurseries), but … At the turn of the millennium, the representatives of the breed at the largest Russian exhibitions could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Why, sometimes a finger was missing! There was a time,
But now, at last, domestic enthusiasts of the breed have “multiplied” – even if not including, as in Europe, but our breeders are no longer threatened with extinction. It became possible to speak not about single nurseries, but about a group of like-minded breeders.
They are enthusiastic people, plus they are energetic and businesslike, and they approach breeding work with all seriousness. Despite the fact that cats are an expensive hobby for them and not a plot that provides a livelihood, these breeders try to rid the amateur environment of amateurism.
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Breeding still has to be professional – in the sense of being qualified and responsible. Following this principle, our breeders studied the current state of the breed in Europe and chose the best, promising lines in Denmark, France, Italy, Finland, Germany, Switzerland …
It was not easy to look behind the screen, in the heart of the Burmese kennel. Not every leading European breeder immediately agreed to let their kittens go to a distant Russian home. Nevertheless, the multi-round negotiations ended in success, and, sparkling with sapphire eyes, the founders and founders of new Russian lines entered our teleological life.
The breed was registered in 1925 in France. Like many breeds, the turning point in her life was the Second World War, which dramatically reduced the European population. The “renaissance” of the sacred Burma took place in a non-romantic time, the breeding work was reflected in the relevant documents, and one can easily trace from whom the animals of a particular nursery originate. But where they came from in Europe is still a mystery worthy of a great detective.
In Russia, the breed began to actively develop 6-7 years ago. And now the breeders are organizing monobreed rings and even a special show within the framework of such a large exhibition as “Commonwealth”. The owners of the best animals began to unite in the informal Russian Sacred Birman Breeders. So they came to our meeting at the editorial office of the magazine as a friendly team.
The round table on topical issues of Russian breeding of sacred Burma was attended by: Tatiana Chulochnikova and Olga Tarkovskaya (kennel Bonbon Azur.Ru), Lyudmila Balashova (kennel Milamos.Ru), and Svetlana Yaremenko (kennel Neige de Saphire).
General opinion: popularity is not always good for the breed. This is especially noticeable when you regularly visit abroad. In Europe, the semi-long-haired group is the most widespread, and Burma is probably in second or third place in terms of number. If there are 400 animals at the exhibition, then 250 of them are SLH, of which 60 are Burmese. there is someone to compare and to look at.
Animals of very different quality – from magnificent to those that you want to ask: “What kind of breed is this?” – although next to it is proudly written: “sacred Burma”. So our guests were advised to abandon the stereotype: “everything is better abroad” and not to oppose Russian and Western breeders – people, wherever they live, are not alien to anything human. We have a few Burmese, but there are already many “fluffy colorpoint cats” appearing.
When you look at such an exhibition, you cannot understand who it is? In any case, this animal is BAD, since there cannot be a good pedigree cat without a pronounced pedigree type. I would like to focus not on the very fact of the presence of such animals, but on their adequate assessment by an expert. An animal that does not meet the standard should not receive titles! Unauthorized substitution by experts of the main provisions of the standard and the loyalty of some international organizations to changing breed standards leads to the erosion of the breed type.
Sacred Burma cannot be bred en masse. She has few litters (on average 3-4 kittens, or even 2-3), and the number of litters is regulated in FIFe. In addition, the breed has a clear sign that determines show quality: white markings on the paws (“socks”, “gloves”).
An animal can be beautiful in type, with beautiful eyes – but if there are no gloves, then this is no longer show quality. It may be good at breeding, but will not receive titles. And consistently getting kittens with white markings that meet the standard is very difficult.
It is also impossible to get hung up on “spur gloves”, otherwise the marks will be cool, and everything else is a big question. If we add that we still have very few nurseries of this breed, then we have all the difficulties of working with small livestock.
Popularity Of The Breed
Nevertheless, our breeders do not agree to sacrifice quality for the popularity of the breed. “Pets” are sold by adding a clause on compulsory castration to the contract as a condition for issuing a pedigree. And not everyone will sell a kitten for breeding. To people who know the breed – yes. Or those to whom the breeder simply trusts and who trusts him, who will consult, realizing that there is no experience and he himself is not a professional and will see little when picking up a pair of animals. The prefix is a brand, and breeders do not want it to appear in pedigrees in animals that do not resemble their native breed.
A strict approach to breeding work has borne fruit: the animals of our breeding began to win in Europe. A few years ago, European breeders were kind to us. At exhibitions, they did not count as rivals. When our Burma won the Best nomination at the 2008 FIFe World Show, the rivals decided that she was from Spain. They didn’t think they could think that the Burma of Russian breeding (in the third or fourth generation) would be able to bypass them! Now the attitude towards our Burma in the West has begun to change for the better. Well-known catteries are already offering to exchange kittens, while lesser-known breeders are buying.
A very important issue is the interaction of experts and breeders, since breeders are enthusiastic people, and experts are more conservative, they have to keep breeders within the standard. This interaction is very important for finding the golden mean.
Most of the breeders of our nascent national club are exhibited according to the FIFe system: among its experts, there are many connoisseurs, breeders of Burma, they know for which quality the most points should be given since this quality is difficult to keep in breeding. For example, the bright blue Burmese eyes began to “go away”. The Breed Council raises the problem, and at the 2009 FIFe General Assembly, the number of points for eye color is increased. Both ring ratings and any changes to the standard must be justified and not based on fashion, personal taste, and mood.
Monobreed rings are also an initiative of breeders. They come to the club and say: “Listen, you will have such an expert at the exhibition. He KNOWS Burma. We will assemble the ring under this expert, everyone we can!” And we are very happy when the club meets halfway.
Why collect! Everyone will be drawn to such an expert. Because a professional look from the outside is very important. And it’s one thing when your cat is compared with animals of other breeds (there are personal preferences – one loves Coons more, the other Burmese, etc.), and another – in one breed. This one has a good head, this one has wool, and this one has a torso … And what is important is the judge’s opinion about particular Russian livestock, advice on what to work on.