Centuries ago in Burma, the temple of Lso-Tsun was guarded by 100 white cats with yellow eyes. The temple was home to the sapphire-eyed golden goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse, who presided over transmigrating souls. The high priest, Mun-ha, spent many hours in devotion before the goddess with his faithful companion, the cat Sinh. The night the aged priest drew his final breath, Sinh leapt upon his body and gazed into the eyes of the statue of the goddess. That very moment, Sinh's white fur turned the golden hue of the goddess, his eyes took on the sapphire blue of her gaze, and his face, legs and tail turned brown like the earth, while his paws remained a pure white where they touched priest's silk garments. Sinh refused to leave the body of the priest, and after seven nights, he quietly expired, carrying the soul of the priest with him to the goddess. The next day, the remaining guardian cats were likewise transformed, thus creating the Birman, "The Sacred Cat of Burma." Around 1919, a pair of Birmans was shipped to France. The male cat did not survive the voyage, but the pregnant female did, thus establishing the Birman in the Western world.
Birmans are hardy and healthy. They are slow to mature, with most not attaining their full growth until three years of age. The colors of a Birman are seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. Patterns range from traditional-pointed to lynx-pointed to tortie-pointed. They have the elegance of a long haired cat but not the maintenance, since they only have a single coat which does not matte. Birmans are affectionate, intelligent, playful cats, and are happiest with a family or in multi-pet households. Males, in particular, can be very talkative, yet Birmans are generally known for their quiet voices.
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