also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma", is shrouded in mystery.
The legend of these temple cats goes back before the time
of Buddha, to the Temple of Lao-Tsun honoring the god Song-Hyo
& the goddess Tsun-Kyan-kse. Priests & monks dedicated their
lives to worshipping the goddess. Pure white cats also lived
with the priests. It was believed that after death, a priest
returned to the temple as one of the white cats.
of the cats, Sinh, was the devoted companion of a very old
priest, Mun-Ha. One night when Mun-Ha was praying before the
goddess, Thai raiders attacked the temple & the priest was
killed. Immediately, Sinh leapt upon the body of his master.
As the priest's soul entered Sinh, the white hair of the cat's
body turned golden like the old priest's beard & it's eyes
became sapphire blue like the eyes of the goddess. Sinh's
face, tail & legs became brown like the earth except for the
feet, which rested on the slain pries, these remained white,
days later, Sinh died & carried into paradise the soul of
Mun-Ha. The next morning all the other cats had undergone
the same transformation. Since that time, the priests have
guarded their golden cats, believing them to have the souls
of priests. The legend ends: "Woe to he who brings the end
to one of these marvelous beasts, even if he didn't mean to.
He will surely suffer the most cruel torments until the soul
he upset has been appeased."