Sacred Birman Cat

Of a dazzling beauty, with its colored mask and its toes completely white, the sacred Burmese is a race that is not very common, but that has enthusiast followers in the feline circles of Europe and North America, and its considered a playful and of good character animal of company.

A Legendary Breed
There are at least two great legends about the sacred cat of Burma, that mustn’t be confused with the Burmese, a short hair race of cat that is very different.

The first goes back centuries from now, the second, just one hundred years ago.

The oldest legend goes back to the middle age. In the IX Century, the South East zone that today corresponds to Myanmar (Ancient Burma), Thailand and Cambodia where divided in realms controlled by the people of Jemer.

Each realm had as its center a Buddhist temple, the main ones where Ava and Pegu in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Angkor in Cambodia. These realms suffered the constant menace of Thailand invaders until that in the XV Century most of the temples were destroyed, if well some temples still stood erect.

In it some totally white cats lived and, according to the Buddhist believes, they represent the souls of the dead monks.

Cats enjoyed of a special prestige and received much cared. According to some chronicles, they could have been used to protect the temples from intruders, but the sacred Burmese is so tame that it seems little probable that this was so.

According to the legend, in the temple of Lao-Tsun (not identified) lived a totally white cat with amber eyes named Sinh, companion of the high Priest Mun-Ha. One night, some robbers broke inside the temple and killed Mun-ha while praying at the feet of the statue of a golden goddess that had eyes as blue as a sapphire. Sinh immediately jumped over the dead body of Mun-Ha and the soul of the old priest passed into the body of the cat. Done so, the white cloak of sinh acquired a golden tone, due to the reflection of the statue, and it only conserved the white on part of its feet, that which was in contact with the body of its sacred master. The face, ears, tail and legs adopted the color of earth, and the amber eyes turned into sapphire blue. Sinh stayed near the dead body of Mun-ha during seven days, protecting him, and he re fused to eat anything, until he died and took with him the soul of Mun-ha into paradise.

The other 99 cats of the temple then acquired the new colors of Sinh and put themselves in a circle around a young priest of the temple, as to indicate that he was the successor chosen by Mun-ha.

This tradition was incorporated to the Buddhist religion, but the time came in which the priests of La0-Tsun fell in disgrace and at the end of the XIX Century were expelled from their temple.

The English major Rusell-Gordon and the French explorer Auguste Pavie helped the priests and their cats to cross the border in direction to the Tibet and were they founded a new temple several years after, in 1919, the priests sent a pair of cats of their temple to France as a sign of gratitude.

The male died during the trip, the female, Sita, which was pregnant, survived and thus was the first exemplary of the sacred Burmese in Europe. So, according to these legends, it is a natural race.

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