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About Sacred Birmaen

Sacred Birman are medium in size and are semi-longhaired cats. The solid rather elongated body is carried on strong legs with rounded paws, which should not be too high. The Birman is rather low on legs.
The head of the Birman is slightly longer than broad, has full cheeks and a firm chin.
The nose is straight, medium long, which means not too short, and shows a gentle indentation at its base. In some organizations a Roman profile is desired. One can see such a profile more often in Birmans originating from France. In general the head is not described very detailled, but one will notice the rounded full cheeks immedeately and the quite "sweet" expression of the face.
The ears are not very large, open at their base, not too pointed and are set rather wide apart.
The eyes are large and almost round. Their dark blue very intensive colour is impressing.
The coat is semi-long, it is silky to touch, and does not have too much undercoat. The colour of the coat is a pale eggshell, and shows a golden shine on its back. In winter the cats have a very nice frill. The Birman is a pointed cat, i.e. colour is restricted only to the face (called mask), the ears, the legs and the tail.
The tail is longer, and looks like a plume.
The feature, which makes a Birman so unique, are the absolutely white paws, called gloves. The gloves on the front paws shall not extend beyond the metacarpal, on the hindlegs the gloves shall not extend beyond the hock. On the backside of the hindlegs the gloves end in a point (called gauntlets), which is very characteristique for the Birman. In the ideal case the gloves shall be as symmetrical as possible.

             

                                                                         History

There are lots of legends around the Birman. It is said that there lived once a priest in the mountains of Lugh, many centuries ago. This priest had a long golden beard, which the god Song-Hio had braided. The priest had dedicated his life to the godess Tsun-Kyan-Kse, who had deep blue eyes like sapphires and who permitted devouted souls to transmigrate into holy animals. The favorite cat of the priest was Sinh, a white cat with golden yellow eyes and so dark brown ears, nose, legs and tail like the earth. One night the temple was robbed and the priest was murdered. Sinh, the cat mourned sitting at his head, and the miracle happened. The back of the white cat suddenly became golden, and his golden yellow eyes became blue like the sapphires.
The paws touching his dead master remained pure white thus symbolizing his innocence.
In the legend the soul of a dead monk transmigrates from now on into the body of a cat. The loyal Sinh was in such a deep grief about his dead master that he died on the seventh day. Since that time all the temple cats had a golden yellow back like a golden mantle and their golden yellow eyes turned to sapphire blue.
Some say that the Birmans had been imported into Europe from south east Asia in 1916 ("Sacred cats of Burma"). In 1925 the Sacred Birman was recognized by the Fédération Féline Française, the foundation member of FIFe. Almost all Birman cats trace their origine from the French Birmans. In 1959 the first Birmans were exported to the US, and in 1965 to England. In 1967 they were recognized by CFA.

Sacred Birmans exist in the following colours, but all have those striking dark blue eyes:

seal point The colour of the points is a very dark brown colour (which is called "seal").
blue point The colour of the points is blue-grey.
chocolate point The colour of the points is chocolate and should not be too dark.
Frequently one can see white spectacles around the eyes, which is undesirable.
lilac point The colour of the points has a greyish colour tone, which has a pink tinge, and is rather pale.
red point The colour of the points is an orange colour.
It is very likely that the front legs are paler and show rings.
cream point The colour of the points is a pale cream.
In general those cats look very light.
seal tortie point The dark brown colour of the points is patched with orange patches.
Frequently those cats have an orange blaze, starting on the upper part of the nose and extending to the forehead. They are quite attractive cats.
blue tortie point The blue-cream pointed cat is the diluted opposite to the Sealtortie. The blue-grey colour of the points is patched with very pale cream patches.
A delicate colour.
chocolate tortie point The chocolate colour of the points is patched with paler orange patches.
lilac tortie point The pale greyish colour of the points is patched with very pale cream patches.

All those colours also exist with stripes, and are called Tabbypoint. I.e.:

  • seal tabbypoint, blue tabbypoint
  • chocolate tabbypoint, lilac tabbypoint
  • red tabbypoint, cream tabbypoint
  • seal tortie tabbypoint, blue tortie tabbypoint
  • chocolate tortie tabbypoint, lilac tortie tabbypoint.

The term "tortie" means that the cat is patched with red or cream patches.
Usually the colours in the pointed cats are named with English terms.
The term "point" means that the colour is restricted only to the face, the ears, the legs and the tail, whereas the body is almost white - mostly the colour is not a pure white colour, but a pale eggshell.

The Tabbypoints had been bred many years ago by outcrosses to silver shaded and chinchilla Persians, because those are genetically tabby cats, however, one cannot see the tabby pattern in Chinchillas.

                                                                    Temperament

The character of the Birman is very equilibrated and friendly. They are very affectionated to humans and love to be their companions. They like to cuddle and love it to be hugged and to get attention. They greatly appreciate companionship and also like young children. They give the impression of quiet power accompanied with harmony through their pensive and expressive blue eyes.

 

                                                                       Grooming

Birmans are very easy to care for. Their silky coat does not mate and has no tendency to show knots. Their coat sheds very little. They need rather little grooming, but they love it to be brushed.