Burmese Cat History & Characteristics [exploring the Breed]

There are significantly fewer breeders-breeders in the group of semi-long-haired cats in comparison with other breeders. But there are enough sites – solid ones, competently promoting the breed. Almost all of them begin with a legend – one of the most beautiful among the many stories that complement the stories about each of the existing breeds. True, its presentation does not always coincide in details (the name of the monastery, the name of the monk, goddess, etc.) – there is no problem. The main thing is that the site creators set us up, readers, to meet an amazing cat, which, shining with sapphire eyes, will jump off the monitor screen in its snow-white socks to our lap, hide with a fluffy tail and purr.

All sites pay attention not only to the history of the breed, but also to the standards and colors. On the example of their own animals, breeders demonstrate colors, but not all use the generally accepted felinological terminology (for example, instead of a red tabby they write a red tabby with stripes), which confuses the minds of the “uninitiated”, that is, amateurs. Most of the tender words and enumerations of the best qualities of Burmese are found on the pages about their character: how they frolic, what “knees they throw away”, how they participate in the life of the family … . Gentle – kind, affectionate, attentive) or “Elegant”. There are enough photographs on the sites.

On numerous pages of the forum of breeders of this breed, there is an active exchange of opinions, news, showing photos, comments to which are extremely pleasant to read.

After each exhibition, under the resume of one breeder, that, they say, the Burmese were the most beautiful, there is certainly no doubt about this, everyone else can subscribe. They do not call themselves otherwise than the happy owners of the Burmese.

Nice to read thanks from newbies. They write like this: “Thank you for your friendly and friendly communication, for the wonderful sites – all this helped me to make my choice …” All newcomers listen to serious conversations, to the advice of their elders. Experienced breeders are also able to console if the hostess suddenly thinks that her pretty little ears are out of place. Or to resolve doubts about the brushes on the ears: to pluck or not to pluck? It turns out that visually the brushes lengthen and sharpen the ears. It turns out, albeit a small one, but there is still a problem, which means that it is necessary to explain: how purely visually you can round your ears. “What if my kitty doesn’t like it?” – some owners ask. And to this “cry from the heart” the luminaries give a detailed answer and willingly share their experience: even a painless technique has been developed for such a procedure. If a layman misunderstands something, then long, detailed lectures with additions or clarifications are provided to him until he is fully “assimilated”. And how important it is for a newbie to find the right breeder, so as not only to buy a high-quality kitten from him, but also to keep in touch with him in the future, since he does not want to make mistakes when they can be avoided.

Of course, the owners do not absolve themselves of responsibility, and experienced breeders warn: it will not work right from the “place in the career”, even if you are seven inches in the forehead. They sincerely, wholeheartedly offer help to those who are interested in improving the breed, but put love first. Love for cats.

In a word, I was glad for all lovers of the sacred Burma – a breed that intelligent people are engaged in. They do not even “boil” when they are pointed to a similarity with the Neva Masquerades. Indeed, for ordinary buyers, the similarity – and most importantly, the difference in price – plays not in favor of Burma. But those who buy Burma want exactly Burma, and not someone of the same color and with white paws.

History Of The Breed

The legend of the cats of the Lao-Tsun temple became known thanks to Major Russell Gordon (perhaps this is a fictitious name). It is he and his friend Auguste Pavie that many felinologists refer to as the earliest source. It is interesting that this “sacred text” of the birman breeders has come down to us in the form of quotations and retellings. In the twenties and thirties of the last century, one of the first breeders of the breed, Mrs. Marcelle Adams and Mr. M. Baudoin-Crevoisier, readily referred to them. In addition, they used in promoting the breed and information received from Ms. Leotardi, who is one of the key figures of our detective. Subsequently, information about the origin of Burma was repeatedly cloned, modified, mercilessly translated into other languages.

In 1885, Great Britain began a military operation to conquer Northern Burma. The aforementioned Honorable Russell Gordon and Auguste Pavi were at the base in the Bhamo area and, putting things in order in the region, including preventing sectarian massacres. So they met the monks from the underground Khmer monastery of Lao Tsun, who needed help against the militant Hindus. As a reward, R. Gordon in 1898 received a portrait of a temple cat sitting at the feet of a strange deity with eyes of two elongated sapphires, and also had the opportunity to personally meet the four-legged attendants. They even gave him a couple of cats later.

According to another version, rather vague, the events took place already in the XX century. Khmer monks with their mysterious cult and army of cats were forced to flee to Tibet and from there in 1919 they sent a cat and a cat to their Anglo-French friends.

The third version is fundamentally different from the two previous ones and, obviously, should demonstrate the power of capital, because in it the main character is the American millionaire Vanderbilt. The story goes: in 1918, on his yacht, the aforementioned person makes a voyage across Southeast Asia and, either sailing past the Burmese shores, or standing there for a long stay, acquires a breeding pair of temple cats. Cats were not actually on sale – after all, according to legend, each of them had the soul of a deceased monk, but either the unfaithful monk fell very low, or the amount was so great that it paid for such a sacrifice, or the monastery was a simple Buddhist and local souls could do without cats, who knows? The millionaire had an excuse: he bought cats not out of a simple whim, but wanting to send them to Vienna, as they said then to their friend Mrs. Thadde Hadish. The mysterious lady from Vienna, however, for some reason gave the go-ahead for the landing and accommodation of the live cargo only in Nice, and this, excuse me, is already France. They say, however, that the cat did not endure swimming, but the cat set foot on the western shores, already being pregnant with him. Hey Hollywood! How could such a plot be missed ?! That would be to shoot a “soap opera” like a cat – ten episodes “children under 16” are provided!

The surviving cat did not go to Vienna, but stayed in Nice with Mrs. Leotardi. Defending the honor of French felinology, local patriotic breeders argue that not all temple cats came from British possessions or were bought with American money; they say, a certain cat from Laos (French Indochina) lived in Nice, and it was with him that a Burmese widowed on Vanderbilt’s yacht got involved.

Breeding The Burmese Cat

The detective story about the beginning of the breeding of the breed haunted many. For example, Marcel Reney, in his book “Les amis des chats”, spoke of an investigation he had undertaken to learn more about the history of the sacred Burma. Alas! He was unable to find any official information about either the Major of the British Army, the Honorable Russell Gordon, or about Ms. Hadish. The attempts to find traces of the estate from the gallant major and the collection, where the very portrait with the Burmese temple cat, which, as it were, Gordon had entered into his supposedly existing catalog under the number 4108: “of my collection at Mildenhall”, was also futile!

The same source tells that Mrs. Leotardi, from whom the aforementioned Marcel Adam bought her first Burma, disappeared mysteriously and instantly, having previously told the legend about the cats of the Lao Tsun temple.

Thus, conducting an investigation worthy of Poirot himself, we came to the conclusion that all discovered versions can hardly be considered a reliable basis for “building” the breed. The denouement of this story should be very prosaic and, unlike the beautiful legends, convincing. This is exactly what was found in beautiful France, more precisely, in Nice, where breeders conducted experiments, crossing Siamese and long-haired cats, as a result of which they received “Le sacre de birmanie ou birman”. Probably, it was they who “picked up” the white-footed mutation and elevated it to the canon. And after the Second World War, when the breed was recreated from literally a few surviving cats, “temple blood”, it seemed, should have gone forever into a legend.

But the sacred Burma would not be worthy of its name if it did not manage to occasionally create a commotion! So, in 1960, the American breeder Gertrude Griswold was incredibly lucky: a married couple of “Temple” cats (Temple Cat) temporarily got into her cattery. They were left with her by Carter Townes, who had come from Cambodia on vacation to visit his sister. Later it turned out that these so-called “temple” cats were given to him by his sister! Gertrude Griswold got kittens from these “temple” guests at a reasonable price, got in touch with European breeders, and it turned out that these cats are sacred Burmese. But, alas, the temple had nothing to do with it.

However, the famous American breeder Paula Boroff does not give up hope that there will be evidence of the true Burmese origin of the beloved breed. She refers to the story of a friend of her family, a geologist who worked in Burma, that in local temples there are cats that are very similar to the animals of her nursery. All that is missing is a large-scale, well-thought-out expedition to the sacred habitats of the Burmese.

In the meantime, a paw in a white sock appears from behind the screen and a smart muzzle carefully peeps out, and the sapphires on the face of the golden goddess laugh at all this fuss.

Too Complicated To Get The Breed Features

Try to combine all the desired signs in one animal: the type, and bright eyes, and excellent, contrasting points, and the symmetry of the gloves! For example, the absence of a characteristic “spur” on the hind legs will leave no chance of getting a high score. Ideally, the white “socks” should be exactly the same on all four legs. Any other spots located on the points are a direct route to disqualification.

I want to note that white spurs and socks are determined by the work of the recessive gene g. Therefore, both mom and dad should be happy owners of it, so that the child inherits this extraordinary breed distinction of the sacred Burma.

Baby … How many are breeding? With what a sinking heart are breeders waiting for the development of kittens! From 5-7 litters at the stage of the formation of the breed, only 2 kittens went into breeding! And this is justified: the breed is too complicated and good!

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