Many centuries ago by a sparkling lake, in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains, the temple of Lao-Tsun was guarded by 100 yellow-eyed white cats with long silken hair. The temple housed a beautiful golden goddess with sapphire blue eyes who watched over the transmutation of souls. The head monk, Mun-ha, whose beard had been braided with gold by the enlighten one, often knelt in meditation before the golden goddess,Tsun-Kyan-Kse. At his side was his faithful and beloved companion, a beautiful temple cat named Sinh. Sinh would always shared in his master's meditation. As the monk meditated, Sinh would gaze steadily at the golden goddess beautiful sapphire blue eyes.
One night as the moon rose, Mun-ha was in communion with the sacred goddess, Tsun-Kyan-Kse. He was deep in a transcendental state. So deep was his devotion, that he suffered no pain when the temple was attacked by marauders and Mun-ha was killed. At the moment of his masters death, Sinh placed his paws upon the monk's flowing robes and faced the golden goddess. Instantly, an amazing transformation took place. The hairs of Sinh's white fur were as though misted with a golden glow which radiated from the beautiful golden goddess. Her deep sapphire blue eyes became Sinh very own. His face, ears, legs and tail became the velvety brown color of rich earth, but his four paws resting gently on his master, remained perfect white, a symbol of purity. The next morning the temple radiated with the transformation of the remaining ninety-nine white cats which with Sinh reflected the golden hue of a hundred brilliant sunrises. Sinh did not move from his place He stayed on the spot of his masters death, and gazed fervently into the sapphire eyes of the goddess. Exactly seven days later Sinh died carrying with him into Nirvana the soul of his beloved master,the monk Mun-ha. The next morning all the other white cats of the temple had undergone the same transformation as Sinh. From then on the priests guarded their sacred golden cats, believed them to have custody of the souls of the priests.
A veil of mystery surrounding this initial background of the Birmans. According to the explorer, Auguste Pavie who made a study of this subject stated the pointed cats of all colors, some mitted and some not, can be seen in today's temples. He believed that because the numerous wars waged in Northern Burma by the Siamese and the Annamites through out history, that it is very likely that the origin of the Birman evolved from a cross between the Siamese cat and the Annamites cats. But as with all legends there is am element of truth.
The original Birmans of France are said to have been a gift from the priests of a new temple of Lao-Tsun in the mountains of Tibet. Two cats were reputedly sent to France, one - a male - dying in transit. The female, already pregnant, is said to have survived to become the founder of the pedigree Birman breed of Europe.
It is intriguing when, that in 1960, a pair of ‘Tibetan Temple’ kittens were given to a North American cat lover, they had colouring identical to the Birman and were accompanied by the same legend - even down to the 100 temple cats.
Whatever its true origin the Birman is a fascinating variety which became very successful in France until World War Two decimated the feline population. After the war the breed was again reduced to two individuals and it was a long time before it could fully recover. Birmans were first taken to England from France in the early 1960’s and were accepted for championship competitions in 1966.”