The Siamese cat is one of the most renowned and popular breeds of cat in the world today with their distinct dark coloured points, beautiful almond shaped blue eyes and elegant, sleek bodies along with friendly, charming and sociable personalities.
It is believed that the first Siamese cats belonged to the Royal Family of Siam (now Thailand) and were used as guards for the ancient temples and legends states that the way that the Siamese became cross eyed with a kinked tails was that two Siamese were sent to find a goblet belonging to a King. When they found it one of the Siamese one was left to take care of it while the other returned to tell the King about it. The one that was left was scared of losing the goblet so wrapped his tail around it tightly and the legend states that this caused the cat to become cross eyed and to have a permanent kink in its tail which is sometimes passed on through to its descendants.
Other legends state that Siamese cats were used as ring holders by the Royal Princesses and that is how the kinks arose. At that time no one, except the King and members of the Royal family were permitted to own one. Siamese cats were said to have special powers.
This distinct breed of cat was not seen outside of Thailand until King Rama V presented a breeding pair of Siamese, Pho and Mia to the British Consular-General, Mr Owen Gould from which they produced three kittens.
The Siamese made its first debut in Europe in 1871 at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in London. In 1879 the first Siamese arrived in the USA as a gift to the wife of President Rutherford Hayes from the US Consul in Bangkok, Thailand. It is believed that the first Siamese came to Australia between 1890 and 1903.
A Siamese cat can come in one of four colour points: the original Sacred Seal Point, Blue Point, Lilac Point or Chocolate Point. Siamese are usually a very affectionate, sociable and intelligent cat with an extremely friendly ‘dog like’ nature.
Siamese cats have been used to create and enhance many breeds including: Oriental, Burmese, Balinese, Himalayan and Si-Rex along with what was originally called Colourpoint Siamese. The latter come in many colours including: seal, blue, red, tabby, lilac, chocolate, cream and tortie points. These colours are created by using a Siamese with another breed chosen for their coat colour. These cats look just like Siamese but have an entirely different genetic makeup due to the former.
Unfortunately there are now only a few ‘pure’ Siamese seal point breeders that have stayed both loyal and true to this magnificent breed of cat which is due partly to the popularity of this breed. This has resulted with kittens and cats being sold that have little ancestry in them although they are sold as a traditional Siamese cat.
MYTHS & LEGENDS OF THE SIAMESE CAT
The blue eyes:
This colour, virtually unknown to the everyday cat is a distinct feature of the Siamese breed. The classic blue eyes are said to have been the result of a gift from God. The legend states that when barbarians threatened to destroy the temple altar in ancient Siam, the cats defended strongly and repelled the savage invaders. In gratitude to the prayers of the devout priests, Siamese cats were rewarded by the everlasting gift of their exquisite blue eyes.
This was said to have been won on a battlefield when the cats defended the Golden goblet. The cat’s eyes were riveted so firmly together that when the battle was won they were left with a permanent squint.
The crossed eyes:
The Sacred Siamese Temple cats were left in charge of an expensive vase and in order to guard this properly they curled their tails around it and starred so hard that their eyes became permanently crossed.
The kinked tail:
This was said to have originated when the Royal princesses were taking a bath. The cats allowed the princesses to place their valuable bracelets and rings on the end of their tails for safe keeping. To prevent these from falling off, the Temple cats knotted their tails and after a while a permanent kink developed especially for this purpose.
Siamese love human company and make wonderful companions. They will share your joys and sorrows, are devoted and loyal to their owners. Once you have owned a Siamese you will never want to be without one.