Friday, November 24, 2006

not just a regular brown cat — WCB #77

Weekend Cat Blogging — no. 77

this post is two parts. the first is a bit about the burmese breed and the second, a short story about my cat and how he came to me.

the burmese is a cat with a rich history which goes back to burma [myanmar] and thailand. it was originally a temple cat looked after, and doted upon, by monks and one owned and cherised by nobility. it has a personality and character like no other.

in the 1930s, the first burmese was brought over to san francisco. it has since been bred and developed and today is categorized into two distinct classes: the american burmese and the european burmese. they differ in their coat colours and certain physical characteristics. see the links for more information.

map of burma, now called myanmar


wong mau, the first burmese to come to america
her face reminds me of a cartoon character

a very interesting article about the evolution of this breed by cats and kittens magazine.

if it interests you, more information about the specific breed is available here and here.

now for the story of my kitten, or should i say, my cat tale:

several months ago i went to the airport to pick up a very special package which would bring much happiness into my life. waiting nervously — not to mention a long time (damned security and immigration!) — the courrier ... or should i say carrier ... finally arrived. i felt like an expectant parent.

it was love at first sight.

when i opened up the little black sherpa carrier, out popped the cutest little head, letting out a set of mee-yews & mee-yows that made heads spin at the arrivals section of the airport. it was my golden-eyed, sable burmese kitten, a little brown baby of 4 months. soft as silk and purring loudly while "talking" at the same time, he immediately let me know what a bad flight it had been. thank goodness he was able to fly in cabin and not some dark, scary cargohold.

he immediately climbed out inspecting the scene from a quiet corner where i had taken him for the big reveal. after taking a good look at me, he then climbed up me and started licking my face. this was my first introduction to my "loverboy" of a cat who doubles as a dog in a cat's suit. the burmese really is a cat like no other.

from esquire magazine:

THE BURMESE CAT (Michael Walker, Esquire magazine-August 2002) Every so often a cat goes missing in an airliner cargo hold and we're treated to video on the local Fox affiliate of baggage handlers making simpering entreaties to Fluffy to come out. Like most men, I considered such incidents, with their leitmotif of J.Lo-like entitlement, a powerful disincentive to owning a cat. Then my girlfriend brought home a pair of Burmese, and I have had to make an agonizing reappraisal. The Burmese is a cat a man can love because the Burmese is more dog than cat. You can teach them to fetch and roll over. They actually like people. They do just about everything dogs do except snarl at the FedEx guy and force you to walk them in the rain with a hangover. And you want smart? Clambering over my computer, one of them hit the right sequence of keys, creating his own folder, and named it. Let's see your weimaraner pull that off.

read here and see pictures of what i mean from a fellow owner. it's all true.

he follows me from room to room and is constantly by my side. that includes the bathroom. it seems i cannot be let out of his sight ... well, at least for any length of time. he loves to talk and expresses his opinions about everything and even loves to be held like a baby. i call him my "crouching tiger, yowling dragon" because he does the typical burmese crouch next to me for incredibly long periods of time and can let out a yowl when he wants something. puts a siamese to shame, i tell you. he is also fearless and would think nothing about leaving the house to go on city-wide exploration. this is not one fraidy-cat. even the vacuum and coffee grinder doesn't scare him! he also fetches and plays hide and seek. what more could i ask for?

my 'baby', {pink rabies shot collar}, a few months back with his brother
his brother lives in the united states

burmese cats are normally quite long-lived. there are stories of cats living 20 years and longer. my friend's burmese is now 18 years old.

i look forward to many long years with my little guy.

special thanks to the house of the (mostly) black cats for hosting of WCB #77.

.... and seeing as he is related to the siamese, i could not resist adding some bad cat video. i am sure a lot of people remember the following scene from a famous disney movie.


Anonymous said...

I love cats. Love them. I had a calico when I was a kid - her name was Cleo and she was the sweetest thing ever. Then sometime around 14 yrs old I became really allergic to cats so, no more kitties for me. (Though I heard about a company that now breeds allergan free cats and will sell them for $4k, lol.)

Your cats are gorgeous and I loved the story of how you met yours. Even Oreo liked it! :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Princess Jibi said...

I love cats, our country didnt have a wide variety of cats, most cats that I knew where stray cats, and boy could the fight and keep noises in the night... Few people have cats that are kept clean and indoor, my friend was one of them.. And hers dont like stranger... Even though I hang out by her all the time, it never came out when I was there, or anyone else.. I have seen siamese only in "Lady & The Tramp" other than that I have never seen any for real..

Your Cat has a very interesting family background... To be honest its not the kinda cat I would choose if I were to have one... I would probably choose the kind that get all fat and fluffy like Garfeild..

But still I have to say I admire your cat... it must be nice having him around all day...

aria said...

what a beautiful kitty! very regal :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I loved that post and your cat is a real cutey! He is really beautiful...

I don't have Burmese cats at home, but I could relate to what I read, because my two adorable cats have a very similar (strong) personality. In fact, they behave like dogs, love getting cuddled/kissed like babies, speak all the time to express their needs, feelings, etc.. and follow us everywhere (even in the bathroom)!!!

burekaboy — said...

ari - i am really a dog person but i love cats also. this was the closest i could come to a dog without getting one! i understand about your allergies. since i got him, some of my friends can no longer visit for the same reason. 4k?!! gulp.

princess j - it is funny how different countries treat or see pets. in north america they are sometimes placed higher than people's own children (unfortunately). i do like a fat, fluffy cat too. i got a shorthaired one to cut down on having hair all over the place. he is truly a great companion. very loving.

aria - thanks for visiting and the nice comment! i loved your "fatboys".

rosa - thanks for all your compliments. isn't it fun to have a cat (or cats) that don't just sleep and ignore you all day!!

Ostara said...

What a handsome young man! He sounds like the perfect companion. That Burmese "crouch" is so unusual. Sam is extremely vocal, too. And opinionated. I don't think playing fetch is his idea of fun, though. He'd rather have me do the fetching. ;-)

Have you read any of the 'Cat Who' books by Lilian Jackson Braun? Her descriptions of Siamese behaviour are spot-on and would probably remind you of your own smart cat.

Hot(M)BC said...

Wow! We learned a lot about Burmese kitties. Your kitty is furry handsum too!

Thanks for joining Weekend Cat Blogging #77!
Sanjee, Boni, Mini, Pepi and Gree
of the
House of the (Mostly) Black Cats

burekaboy — said...

ostara - thanks for the compliment, i am sure he appreciates all the nice messages! yes, i was a little surprised that he actually did crouch and do all the other very burmesy things that are typical of the breed. i love that they talk, but i wish i knew what they were saying half the time! i imagine .... FEE ME NOW!

yes, i have read a few of her book. they are very fun reads.

hot(m)bc - thanks for stopping by and hosting the event. a loud meowout to all your kitties! lol.

beenzzz said...

I am a serious cat person. You have a Burmese cat? That is so wonderful. They are a beautiful breed. I had a Balinese cat for 18 years and she passed away 2 years ago. I now have a Siamese Snowshoe who is made up of equal parts devil and angel. I have a tribute to her on my blog if you ever get a chance. :)

burekaboy — said...

hey beenzzz - will definitely drop by to take a look at your kitty. balinese are beautiful cats. a siamese snowshoe sounds very devilish! LOL. must be beautiful. i am very happy with my decision to get a burmese. couldn't ask for a more loving and loyal pet companion. ;p

Eleanor said...

Hi there,

Well your Burmese doesn't look quite mouselike compared to my bobcat but there is a bit of a size difference! We had a Bengal cat once and your description of the Bengal breed reminds me a lot of the Bengal. Our cat Eeyore, also a male, loved the bobcat, and they played well together!

They're great companions.

burekaboy — said...

bengals are an interesting breed but a little too hyper for me. my friends had one and he was a handful. i see you like the "wild" type. i was very suprised to see your bobcat. my cat, however, was pretty mouse sized a few months back when i got him. eeyore is a great name.

TopChamp said...

Hello - very informative, thanks!

I'll pop back when I'm more awake to read more about your cat. Didn't have time to post one myself...

OK you're right - I forgot all about it.