The Sacred Temple Cat of Burma.....Legend and History

Once upon a time there was a temple built on the slopes of Mount Lugh at Lao Tsun in Burma. There the holy Kittah Monks whose master was the venerable Mun-Ha, were adoring the Goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse.

Not a minute, not a glance, not a thought of Mun-Ha's life was not dedicated to the contemplation and Holy Services of the Goddess of the Earth whose the golden statue with its huge Sapphire eyes dominated the monastery.

Tsun-Kyan-Tse presided over the transmigration of souls. Each Kittah was sharing his life with a cat, a white cat with golden eyes. Mun-Ha's cat was Sinh. Peace, serenity and love were the staples of the holy life at the monastery of Lao Tsun.

One night, the murderous Phoums, coming from the neighbouring, Siam broke into the monastery. Mun-Ha was as usual the last one up, meditating in front of the statue of Tsun-Kyan-Tse. He did not hear the Phoums till the long curved blade ripped into his back killing him instantly. Sinh who was sitting with his master ran and his screaming woke up the monks who managed to turn the bandits around.

Sinh, as the battle was raging, returned to his master and stood on the holy body of Mun-Ha. His head turned towards the Sapphire eyes he prayed the Goddess to give back to his master the gift of life. Alas, not even Tsun-Kyan-Kse had the power of life and death which belong only to the Great Creator. But to show Sinh she had heard him, she turned his yellow eyes as blue as her very own sapphire eyes, she, the Goddess of the fertile earth turned the white face, paws and tail of Sinh, brown like a freshly tilled field, the Goddess threw a coat of gold similar to hers on the shoulders of Sinh and finally because his paws were resting on the very holy body of Mun-Ha, the feet touching the body became white as freshly fallen pure snow.

The next day as the monks were paying homage to Mun-Ha and were asking the Goddess to help them pick a worthy successor, all the cats arrived together led by Sinh and all of them had the blue eyes, the golden coat, the brown points and the white feet granted to Sinh by the Goddess the night before.

After having bowed seven times (the number of knowledge) in front of the statue, they surrounded Ligoa, the youngest of the kittahs, singling him out to his brothers. Seven days after the raid and the death of Mun-Ha, Sinh passed away carrying with him the soul of his master to Tsun-Kyan-Tse.

That is the beautiful legend of the Sacred Temple Cat of Burma.

Then history comes into play since in 1887 Auguste Pavie, French Consul in Extreme-Orient who apparently helped the monks in their constant fight against robbers was given a pair of those Sacred Cats by the monatstery as a thank you gift.

Another version accuses Mr Vanderbilt, the American billionaire to have had a pair of the same cats stolen in the 20ies during one of his pleasure cruises.

What appears to be sure is that either on the French boat or the American yacht, the male "Maldapour" died. As fate would have it, Sita, the female was pregnant and gave birth upon arrival in Nice to 4 kittens. The breed was born in Europe and the first remembered birman was "Poupée" one of those very kitten.

Thanks to Marcelle Adam, from this line were born Manou, Lon Saîte, Djaîpour, Sita I, Sita II who were the hit of the cat shows at the beginning of the century.

The next big name in Birman history is Mr Beaudouin Crevoisier who will continue Mrs Adam ‘s work and produce "Dieu d'Arakhan" a very famous Birman male. In 1935 for obscure reasons, Mr Crevoisier sells for 30 000 francs, a huge amount then, his "Dieu d'Arakhan" and 5 other birmans to Princess Ratibor Hohenloe.

She will then offer them as a gift to the Duc D'Aoste who gives custody and the care of his precious cats to the Comtesse Giriodi Panissera who keeps them in the Chateau de Francavilla Bisio, 1939, World War II explodes and threatens to destroy our birmans.

The only surviving cats at the 1945 armistice appear to belong to Mrs Madeleine Boyer : "Orloff" and "Xenia de Kaabaa". The Birman breed was back to square one like in the 20ies and it took many many years and hard work to rebuild from this pair this gorgeous breed.

Mrs Boyer and her Kaabaa cattery and Mrs Poirier and the Crespières cattery were the architect of the come-back and we owe them a lot of Thanks for their efforts.

In the 60ies the breed is thriving again and Mrs Elsie Fisher and Mrs Margaret Richards from England went to their Paris Cat Show and fell in love with the beautiful Birman Breed and import to the UK under the "Paranjoti" cattery name 2 female, Osaka de Lugh and Orlamonde de Khlaramour", and a male Nouky de mon Rêve . July3rd1968, the first English litter is born....the rest is a success story and a labour of love.