This is a page on the Birman cat written for kids and people who like plain English and good pictures.
The Birman is a breed of cat that is meant to have been brought from Burma to France in 1919. Burma is now called Myanmar. It is a country that is in Asia. It is a light coloured cat with darker fur on the face, ears, tail and legs, which is like the Siamese cat but there lots of differences between the Birman and the Siamese. The Birman also has white fur on the paws and the cat has long fur. The Birman is also quite a large, solid looking cat compared to the thin, delicate modern Siamese. Both come from Asia, and the Siamese comes from a country, Thailand, that is next to Burma.
One of the most interesting things about the Birman cat are the old stories. They lived in temples in Burma. A temple is a place where people pray to a god. They were companion cats to the priests. A head priest had a white cat he called “Sinh”. The priest worshipped a female god called Tsun Kyan-Kse. The goddess had shinning, deep blue eyes and golden hair. When the old priest was dying, Sinh, climbed onto him. When the priest died his soul entered Sinh. Sinh’s eyes turned blue. Sinh’s coat went dark on the ears, nose, tail and legs. Because Sinh’s paws touched his master’s dead body his paws turned white. The colour white means that something is pure and his master was a pure person. Seven days after the chief priest died, Sinh died. Inside Sinh was his master’s soul which he took to heaven. This is a beautiful story but it is not true.
Some more on looks
The Birman’s white paws are called “gloves” because they look like gloves. People who breed these cats call it “gloving” if the white fur is on the front feet. The gloves have to be in exactly the right place on the paw and leg. It is difficult to do this. The white hairs on the rear feet are called “laces”. Cat breeders like to name things in this way. I would say the face looks nice and normal. This cat’s head is quite round. The dark fur can be in many different colors and patterns. The eyes are large and blue.
Some more on the history
The Birman first came to the United States in 1959. They were taken to the United Kingdom (UK) in 1965. In 1967, it was agreed, by the most important cat club (the Cat Fanciers’ Association), that the Birman should be a cat breed.
The Birman is a relaxed cat. They are peaceful cats, which means they get on with kids and dogs. The picture shows that.
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