Birmans are a domestic breed characterised by their silky colourpoint coats, deep blue eyes and socked feet. They have no undercoats, and hence are less prone to matting than other longhaird breeds.
Although the breed as we know it was developed in France, with first breed recognition occurring in 1925, they are known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma”. The history of the Birman is uncertain, but stories are told of Burmese temple cats being shipped to France for various reasons. Possible reasons are cats given as rewards for the defence of a temple, or stolen and smuggled out of the country.
By the end of World War II, only two Birmans survived in Europe. These two, Orloff and Xenia de Kaabaa, are the ancestors of the modern Birman breed. Their offspring were crossed with Persians and Siamese to rebuild the almost extinct breed.
As with other colourpointed cats, Birmans are born white, developing their points over their first 2 years. The cat in this image is still young and darkening.
Due to their lack of genetic diversity, Birmans are prone to certain diseases, the most severe of which is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Birman / Doorstep
“Excuse me, ma’am, do you have time to talk about the state of your soul?”
My inspiration for this image was twofold – firstly the polite expression on the face of this young cat (Mica of IG page @bonniebunnies), and the place of Birmans in religious orders.
As with many of my longhaired cats, I brushed over the underlying ink work with thick white acrylic paint, creating a coat that stands out. Before scanning for prints, I will go back to this and lay down a second layer of slightly darker coat alongside the white, resulting in a silky appearance that you can imagine stroking.
A pretty intensive preperation period for an auction has left me behind on cats. With my schedule clear for the next while, I can concentrate on getting back to my original timetable.