Mists of Time

Map of SE Asia, Burma, MyanmarThrough the Mists of Time, to the present and into the foreseeable future, Burmese cats are like all other pedigreed cats with regionally-occurring coat mutations. The gene that results in different coats differentiates one breed from another, along with some differences in vertebrae or overall size. Burmese are among the oldest, most recognizable and popular cats in the world, with a mystique and romance equal to any legend.

In the beginning (perhaps as long as 15,000 years ago), as they developed from their wild African and Asian ancestral origins, cats were domesticated, beginning a long history with man. Though cats are thought to have developed in Africa, there are indications they developed simultaneously in Asia and quickly spread thought the world, mixing with the pockets of native wild cats which are still being discovered by researchers today, as they are so elusive.

Some of the ancestors of our beloved Burmese may have come on ships trading from Egypt to the Far East, and then spread out along the spice and silk roads. The gene mutation for the pointed Siamese and the darker pointed Burmese happened in those misty times of early human history.

Time marched on.  In Asia, countries arose, quarreled with and conquered one another. Rulers came and went, but the cats remained. Eventually, the Siamese and Burmese were taken into royal homes because of their distinctive looks. Buddhist monks also kept cats in their wats, as they do to this day, writing a book of poems illustrating all the coat colors of the cats and speaking of cat care.

We now know the Burmese and Siamese ancestors of today’s cats existed as far back as the 14th century. The Burmese were rounded up, as they were considered to be lucky cats, and some taken to Burma, after their armies conquered Siam. Of course, Siam is now the modern country of Thailand, and modern Myanmar was once Burma, where Dr. Thompson acquired his little Wong Mau, the girl who started it all for modern Burmese.