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Birman Cat VS. Burmese Cat.
What are the differences between these two cat breeds?
A beautiful cat deserves a beautiful legend of origin. The Sacred Cat of Burma, as the Birman is sometimes called, is said to have acquired his striking appearance through the intervention of a blueeyed goddess, who rewarded a temple cat’s love for and devotion to his priest by turning his white coat golden and changing his yellow eyes to blue. His paws remained white as a symbol of his purity. Ever since the temple cats have borne the goddess’s marks of favor, and it was said that priests who died were reborn into the cats’ bodies.
The ancestors of the Burmese are the Siamese and the “copper cat” of Burma (now known as Myanmar). It’s thought that they were temple and palace cats bred and kept by priests. The matriarch of the modern Burmese was a small, darkbrown cat named Wong Mau. She belonged to Dr. Joseph Thompson, who either acquired her from a sailor or brought her back himself from his travels, depending on which story you believe.
The Birman has a silky, mediumlength coat in the pointed pattern of the Siamese (meaning that the color is darker on the face, ears, legs, and tail), a broad, rounded head topped with mediumsize ears, bright blue eyes that give him a sweet expression, and four white feet that give him the appearance of wearing little white mittens. This is a mediumsize to large cat with a stocky, powerful body that belies his gentle demeanor. The mediumlong to long coat has a silky texture and little undercoat, which means that it rarely mats.
A pale body, which varies in shade depending on the cat’s color, is set off by darker points. For instance, a seal point Birman has a body that is a pale fawn to cream color with a warm tone, gradually shading to a lighter color on the belly and chest. The points are a deep seal brown. On the front and back paws are white “gloves” ending in an even line across the paw. On the back paws, the gloves extend up the back of the leg and end in a point or an inverted V shape. In the show ring, the symmetry of the “gloves and laces” is an important factor and may mean the difference between a kitten going on to a career as a show cat or as a pet.
The Burmese are often described as a “brick wrapped in silk,” a testament to his solid, muscular body. While the original Burmese was a dark solidbrown color known as sable, he now comes in other shades as well, including blue, champagne, and platinum. The cats have a compact body with a rounded head; large, expressive eyes in gold or yellow; and mediumsized ears that are rounded at the tips and tilt slightly forward.
The coat is short and satiny. The traditional sable is a rich, warm brown, slightly lighter on the underbody. A kitten’s coat darkens as it matures. Nose leather and paw pads are brown. A champagnecolored Burmese is a warm honeybeige shading to a pale goldtan on the underside. Nose leather is a light warm brown and paw pads are a warm pinkish tan. Blue Burmese have a mediumblue coat with a slightly lighter belly. Nose leather and paw pads are slate gray. Platinum Burmese are a pale silverygray with light fawn undertones and a slightly lighter color on the underbody. The nose leather and paw pads are pretty lavender pink. Some associations permit other colors, including tortoiseshell, lilac, and red. ========================
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