The Birman Legend

The origins of this legend lie with the Kittah priests of Khmer, who had by all accounts been relentlessly pursued and massacred since around the early 1700's. Their enemies were the Indian Brahmins and in order to escape their attacks fled to North Burmah where they founded the subterranean Temple of Lao-Tsun (The Abode of the Gods ). This temple was described by Russell Gordon as lying to the East of Lake Incaougji, between Magaoung and Sembo.

In 1898, one of the last remaining Kittas related the following legend to Russell Gordon.

A most venerable priest known as Mun-Ha was living in the Temple of Lao-Tsun. Mun-Ha had lived his entire life in contemplation of Tsun-Kyankse, the goddess with sapphire eyes who presided over the transmutation of souls. Apparently Mun-Ha had an oracle who dictated his decisions and this oracle was highly revered by the Kittahs - the oracle was his cat Sinh.

Sinh sat alongside his master and also lived in contemplation of the goddess, his yellow eyes gazing into the sapphire eyes of the goddess.

One evening as the moon rose, the Thai's entered the temple and murdered the revered priest in the presence of his goddess and his divine cat. Immediately transmutation took place, Sinh bounded onto the throne, supported by his masters head he faced the goddess. Where his feet contacted the head of his master, they whitened to the claws, his eyes changed to blue - like the eyes of the goddess and the hair along his spine changed to a golden hue.

The legend continues, Sinh, ordered the Kittahs to find and kill the enemy, then followed seven days where he refused to take nourishment and died. Seven days after the death of Sinh the kittahs assembled before the goddess to chose their successor to Mun-Ha, when a great wonder was observed - all the one hundred temple cats came in procession, and all had sapphire eyes, golden coats, and snowy white feet.

It is said, that when a sacred cat dies in the temple of Lao-Tsun, the soul of a Kittah re-enters.

A warning too, for those who (even accidentally) hasten the end of one of these venerable cats - the most dreadful torments are reserved for them, that the soul in pain may be appeased.