- Size: Medium, 7 to 15 lbs
- Energy Level: 4/5
- Talkative: 3/5
- Coat: Long, silky and doesn’t mat
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: Engaged, active and interactive humans
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Very sociable and adaptable, adores being showered with affection and attention, but not clingy or demanding
When it comes to looks, I have a lot going for me.
I’ll start things off with my paws, which are among my most eye-catching features. They are all pure white and have been this way ever since I was a little kitty. They’ve fascinated a lot of cat aficionados over the years and have even been lovingly referred to as “gloves” due to their appearance.
The pads of my paws are lovely, too – lift me up and you’ll discover that my paw pads are a rosy pink.
Moving up toward my legs, you’ll find that all four of my legs are neither too muscular not too skinny. They are just the perfect size for me to frolic and play. Sure, they might not be as long and flexible like the Bengal’s, but they never fail to get the job done when I want to go for a quick run in the hallway or propel a lazy roll on the living room rug.
As for the rest of my body, it’s of medium build, ‘though I often look bulkier due to my wonderfully fluffy coat. You see, when my coat reaches a certain length, it sort of spreads out. I love seeing the look of surprise on people’s faces when they pick me up and find I’m a lot lighter than I look.
Yes, it’s mostly my coat. Which, by the way, is fascinating. I change colors, you know. When I’m a little kitten, my fur is all white.
But as I start maturing, my coat slowly begins to take on a variety of hues that range from chocolate, lilac, tortie, seal, red, cream and blue – all arranged in a beautiful Siamese-like coloring.
By the time I celebrate my second birthday, my transformation is pretty much complete and my once white fur will have acquired a glowing golden hue.
Well, except for on my face. You see, my lovely little face – including my puffy cheeks and button nose – is covered by a diamond-shaped “mask” of dark fur, the color of which matches my ears and tail. The dark hue really highlights the sapphire glow of my very blue eyes and often, that vivid glow is all you can see of my face.
A lot of my friends tell me that my unique facial features make me look really sweet and docile, which really complements my temperament because I really am the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet.
Most fanciers gravitate toward me for my looks and then they discover that my beauty is more than fur-deep. You see, my personality is every bit as lovely as my appearance.
I am one of the sweetest, most gentle cats in existence. But unlike most good-natured felines, I am neither lethargic nor aloof. I’m actually incredibly friendly and I love the company of humans as well as other pets.
My highly sociable nature is why I really can’t stand being alone. So if you want to be with me, it’s a good idea to have another feline or cat-friendly dog in the house, especially if you’re not going to be in and around most of the time.
You see, I am all for being noticed, played with, and showered with attention. But unlike some cats – I’m lookin’ at you, Donskoy – that doesn’t mean I’m demanding nor clingy. I only vocalize when I really need to, like when my water bowl needs a refill or when I’m way overdue for a belly rub.
One thing you’ll find interesting – and appreciate – about me is that I’m not too crazy about high places. I just prefer having my paws on firm ground, you know? So you needn’t worry ’bout me clambering up cabinets or exploring your kitchen pantry.
And yet another plus I also have an affinity for learning new tricks. I have been known to be very cooperative during training and won’t easily give up even if the stuff I’m trying to master is a bit challenging. I just need lots of encouragement and helpful gestures to keep me going while we’re at it.
Oh, and you’ll need to repeat instructions over and over since I can easily be distracted during training. I have shiny object syndrome.
I guess it’s time I mention some of my drawbacks. No cat is purrfect, after all. The first is that I have a very hearty appetite. I just love eating and trying new varieties of cat food will always rank among my favorite activities.
You can bet I’ll finish everything you dole out, so please be mindful of how much you’re giving me. I can pack on pounds faster than you’d think.
And lastly, I just want to apologize in advance for the hairballs I’ll be coughing out during my shedding season.
I also tend to leave a lot of fur on the sofa and other furniture during that time, so please bear with me. And maybe get yourself a handheld vacuum.
My Ideal Human
I’ve always been complimented that I can easily bond with a variety of people and animals. It really doesn’t matter if it’s your first time owning a cat or if you’re a parent with an infant in the house. I am not at all tricky to take care of and I get along well with everybody.
All I ask is that my ideal human set aside regular time for play and affection. Like I said, I’m not the clingy type so I won’t just jump on your lap whenever I need some lovin’ – you’ll have to come to me.
And it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A head pat here and there, some words of appreciation, and of course, a treat and belly rub combo will make my day.
I heard from Grandma Birman once that the history of our family is shrouded in magic and mystery. She shared that long ago in ancient Burma, our ancestors were extremely docile felines that had very white coats and lived in religious temples as well as other places of great importance.
These cats were very much loved by all, especially by the Kittah priests, who oversaw the goings on in the temples and the residences of the royal family members. The priests were very fond of them not just because of their snow white coats, but also for their affectionate yet independent personalities.
These holy men believed that these felines were blessed by the deity Tsun-Kyan-Kse herself, a goddess known for her sapphire-blue eyes, to help carry the souls of the departed to the heavens.
Anyway, the story tells that one evening, thieves broke into the Khmer Temple to steal the statue of Tsun-Kyan-Kse.
The statue was very valuable because it was made from pure gold and precious stones. The priests fought very hard to fend off the thieves, led by their high priest, Mun-Ha, but were eventually overpowered. Mun-Ha suffered a fatal blow and lay dying near the temple steps.
As he drew in his last breath of air, Mun-Ha felt a familiar paw on his chest. It was his Birman, Sinh, who always joined him during his daily prayers for the goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse. Sinh did not leave the high priest until he passed on. When Mun-Ha drew his final breath, a very amazing thing happened.
There was a bright flash of light and Sinh’s coat took on a more golden hue. His eyes became as blue as sapphires just like the goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse’s, and his paws turned white. All the other cats in the Khmer Temple also underwent the same transformation. And according to Grandma Birman, that was when our family tree began to take root hundreds and hundreds of years ago.
The Birman breed didn’t arrive in Europe until the late 1920’s when one was entered into a show in France. Cat aficionados in England began to recognize our breed in the 1960’s and it didn’t take long for us majestic golden felines to take the United States by storm in the next few months. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) officially accepted our breed into its roster in 1967.
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
Now while I may look very majestic, I don’t require any elaborate service to keep me healthy and happy. I only need a single careful grooming every week. Unlike other long-haired felines that require meticulous brushing almost daily, the main reason I don’t need as much is I don’t have an undercoat. And my fairly long coat is mat-free, too!
Of course, I still need to visit the cat doctor’s clinic every 5 to 6 months to make sure I stay healthy. I also need to be regularly fed the right amounts of high quality cat food to avoid developing liver and kidney problems.
Oh, and please don’t expose me to very high temperatures since I can easily get chills despite my thick coat.
- It’s a little shameful for a feline to admit this, but we’re not so good with heights. So try to keep us indoors since allowing us to get outside can lead to injuries and similar accidents since we can fall off trees and other high spots in and around your property.
- Impressed by my gloves? Just know that it takes a lot of work during breeding to achieve this perfectly symmetrical look. That’s why Birmans that display impressive gloves score a lot of points during shows. It’s also why we Birmans can be very expensive. Pet quality kittens can cost $500 upwards, while show quality ones can reach around $2,000 above. We’re certainly not cheap, but as all Birman lovers know – we’re totally worth it.
- My breed is one of the most docile, gentlest cats in existence and we won’t even attempt to scratch or bite even when we’re roughhoused by young children. So please supervise whenever you let your kids play with us – our patience can easily result in us getting hurt.