Of all the pedigree cats the Birman is the most mysterious one. Mysteriously, it first appeared in 1926, at the first big cat show in Paris, after the First World War. It was accompanied by a strange legend.
Breeding Birmans presents difficulties because of its particular characteristics-four white gloves- it is a genuine genetic headache. (Even today the gloving gene is not fully understood.) To pierce the secrets of the sacred cat of Burma two experts have collaborated. Simone Poirier a breeder with thirty two years experience selecting and breeding Birmans and Gizele Barnay a specialised journalist, the interviewer. They discuss the Zoology of genetics and their dialogue is in effect a voyage of research into the sacred cat of Burma.
They recount a goddess with sapphire eyes, an English major of the Indian Army, an American millionaire, two adventurers, a woman of letters, a Swiss abbot, an Italian Princess… They touch upon Collette who presents her grey blue cats at a show, where the first Birmans were crowned, Jean Cocteau, who designed a medal for the cat club and Romy Schneider a French actress and lover of the Sacred Cat of Burma.
The book reads like a novel but is packed with information and anecdotes. The book is illustrated with many of the historical cats whose names appear behind many Birmans today. A successful French breed which has acquired an international reputation now with clubs all over the world for the protection and promotion of the breed.
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