Celebrity Pets – Burmese Cats On The Red Carpet

Cherry Judd Instagram (c) Rebecca JuddCelebrity pets have not often been Burmese cats – until now. Australian fashion model, speech pathologist, and TV presenter Rebecca Judd and her family recently adopted a Burmese cat they’ve named Cherry.

Miley Cyrus has kennels full of dogs, and has helped Liam Hemsworth choose a new dog for himself. Paris Hilton commissioned a two-level air conditioned doghouse for her managerie.  And Rebecca Judd seems very taken with her new Burmese!

In a recent Daily Mail article, Judd enthuses about the family’s new feline companion:

“For everyone asking, she’s a lilac Burmese. I’ve always had cats but never a Burmese but chose her as apparently they are great with kids.  One hour in and she is obsessed with them and they love her too.”

Burmese kittens | Herding catsAs Ms Judd discovered, Burmese are very good around children. We get lots of inquiries about cats & kids here at Carmelkats, and the answer is always a happy “Yes”! As we explain in our FAQ, “Due to their outgoing and confident nature, Burms will adapt quickly to many household situations and noises. They enjoy cuddling and lots of attention, however, always caution young children to be loving and gentle with their Burm and to please not pull their tail.”

We wish the Judd family and Cherry all the best!

"Lazzy" - Ayshazen Lazzyruss - The IAMS TV cat - Chocolate BurmeseAnd while we’re on the subject of celebrity pets, sometimes the pets are bigger celebrities than their owners. A recent article on Priceonomics.com gives an excellent overview of the phenomenon.  For example, most folks have, by now, encountered Grumpy Cat.  There’s also Esther, the Wonder Pig and Toast, the tongue-dragging King Charles Spaniel.

Then there is perhaps the most famous Burmese celebrity, Ayshazen Lazzyruss, the IAMS TV Commercial Cat. For several years, “Lazzy” was the TV spokescat for IAMS cat food. Sadly, Lazzy passed away in 2014.

Does your pet (Burmese, bulldog, ferret, hamster, goldfish) have what it takes to be a star? Feel free to let us know, in the comments below!

Burmese Cats – Companions, Temple Guardians, Or Ultimate Weapons?

Thai templeOur beloved Burmese cats have always had a close connection with temples and monasteries in Asia. A recent article in the Sacramento Bee suggests that cats have been welcome guests for centuries, at monasteries all over the world.

The author and journalist, Kim Campbell Thornton, paid a recent visit to Gachen Lama Khiid at Erdenetsogt in Mongolia’s Khangai Mountains. She reports, “nearly the first thing I saw was a cat sunning himself outside the temple.”

“Is it common for monasteries to have a cat?” I asked.

Our guide, Batana Batu, translated his [the monastery’s head lama’s] response. Yes, he said. The cat is there to protect food stores from mice.

Cats have served as pest control at temples and monasteries throughout the world for centuries.

Medieval catThornton’s article continues to describe the symbiotic relationship between cats and monks the world over. In Medieval Europe, cats were employed to keep rats and other pests from eating the stored food. Cats also helped prevent mice from nibbling on manuscripts. Monasteries even budgeted a small amount per week to provide for their sentry cats.

The Egyptians benefitted from a partnership with cats, being among the first to use their hunting talents to manage pests such as snakes and rodents.

The article also briefly mentions the origins of the Burmese breed:

Several cat breeds are reputed to have originated as monastery or temple cats. The legend behind the Burmese is that Buddhist monks regarded the shorthaired brown cats as embodiments of gods.

Quite an impressive heritage!

Chicago rat infestationWe’ve also learned that cats are now being considered by the city of Chicago as an “ultimate weapon” in their war on rats. Rats there are causing some serious concerns for the public health, transmitting diseases such as drug resistant C. Diff and MRSA. Officials have called in the Tree House Humane Society to provide cats to “work” as mousers! Many locals are pleased that “jobs” have been found for feral cats that previously would have been euthanized.

Two important online resources, PestWeb and Pet360, consider Burmese to be among the top 10 breeds for controlling pests. We agree, having seen them in action!

Egyptian god Bast

Embodiments of Gods, or just plain felines, today’s Burmese cats provide their humans with much more than simple mousing, of course. They are devoted companions, very affectionate and playful. As the breed continues to recover from its genetic crisis, we expect Burmese cats to become increasingly popular as pets and in the show world.

You can read more about the Burmese genetic diversity issue here. Feel free to comment below!

(Bast sculpture  image courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Art)