2023 Author: Alex Livingston | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
According to legend, many centuries ago, in Burma (Birmanie in French, which explains the name of this breed), there was the Lao-Tsun temple where the priests of Kittah worshiped the beautiful goddess Tsun Kyan Kse of the Khmer people. This deity had a golden body and sapphire blue eyes and ruled the passage of souls.
The monastery was inhabited by a hundred white cats, who were its guardians, and it was also the home of Sihn, a white cat with yellow eyes, which the high priest Mun-Ha kept as an oracle. One day, this sacred place was attacked by infidels who killed the monks, including the high priest who, in an attempt to protect the golden statue of their goddess, suffered a heart attack.
While his master lay dying the white cat Sinh leapt to his aid and hissed at the enemies: this courage heartened the young priests who managed to repel the bandits.
Sinh then relaxed and stared at the statue, while the perfect soul of his master underwent the miracle of transmutation and passed into the cat's body. When the soul of Man-Ha was transferred, Sinh's body began to change color: it was transformed into a pale gold like the statue of Tsu-Kyan-Kse, while its face, its paws and its tail became of the earth color and her yellow eyes became sapphire blue like those of the goddess. Only the ends of his paws remained white to reflect Man-Ha's purity.
The pain of losing his master was too much for Sinh, who died on the seventh day taking his master's perfect soul with him to Tsun-Kyan-Kse. Once peace was restored, the young priests were burdened by the choice of a successor to Mun-Ha. They were, however, amazed to see that the hundred white cats of the temple had all taken on the same coloring as Sinh. And all of them surrounded the younger priest indicating the will of the goddess. From that moment on, when a priest died, his soul transmigrated into the body of one of the temple cats and, when the cat died, the priest's transmutation became complete.
The modern history of the Burmese is almost as shrouded in mystery as its legendary origin. What is known for certain is that, probably around 1919, a couple of Burmese cats were smuggled from Burma to France. The male cat did not survive the harsh conditions of the long journey, but the female Sita survived and, fortunately, was pregnant.
In 1925, the French cat registry recognized the Burmese as a breed. At the end of World War II, only two Burmese were left alive in Europe and a crossbreeding program was needed to re-establish the breed. Most cat registries require at least five generations of pure breeding, after crossbreeding, to fully credit a breed to championship competition. The Sacred of Burma was recognized by England in 1966 and by the Association of Cat Fanatics in 1967. It took more than thirty years of breeding by devotees of this breed to bring the Burmese up to standards. highs that exist today.
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