Monday, January 27, 2014

Siamese Cats

27 January 2013

My rolling luggage, Big Wheelie, somehow was wounded when in storage at the train station.  He came out with an abrasion - a tear in the top layer of fabric.  It didn't go all the way through to the packing space; it was as if something sharp was placed on top and just tore through the top layer.

Luckily, I had a lovely iron-on patch from Oamaru, New Zealand, the place with the very cute little blue penguins.  Yes, the patch was a picture of the little blue penguin.  

So I cut a label off a tank top and sewed that over the tear.  Then borrowed on iron to adhere the patch over the repair.  And then, because this is luggage, I found some red thread and sewed that around the patch, ensuring it is on as permanently as I can make it.

Now why didn't I think to buy a koala patch when in Australia???

Okay, on to the subject of this blog - Siamese cats.  
Thailand was once known as the kingdom of Siam.  Yes, home to Siamese cats.  These photos are all cats in our neighbourhood, and I dedicate this post to the kitties of Soi Silom 14.

The following is from the website 
and I thought it was interesting enough to share:

    " The Siamese cat originated from Thailand, formerly known as Siam. These cats were held in such high esteem in their native country that no one except the King and members of the royal 
family were permitted to own them. They were originally known as Royal points.

    " Written records reveal that Siamese cats, in their 
country of origin, were venerated as guardians of the temples. When a person of high rank died, it was usual to select one of these cats to receive the dead person's soul. The cat was then removed from the royal household and sent to one of the temples to spend the rest of its days living a ceremonial life of great luxury, with monks and priests as its servants. These cats were reputed to eat the finest foods from gold plate and to recline on cushions 
made of the most opulent materials, which had been provided by the departed one's relatives in an attempt to receive good fortune and blessings. Once they became temple cats, they were supposed to have special powers and could intercede for the soul of the dead person. "

The article continues:

      " In 1884, Owen Gould 
brought to England a pair of Siamese cats from Siam as a gift for his sister Lillian. These two cats, Pho and Mia, father and mother, are 1a and 2a in the British Siamese Cat Register, but they have no "pedigree", their particulars are "unknown, imported from Bangkok". The progeny of Pho and Mia, Duen Ngai and Kalahom and Karomata, were exhibited at the Crystal Palace in 1885 and excelled all competitors, but unfortunately died after the show. 

    " Between 1884 and the end of the century, a considerable number of Siamese cats were imported into England and are recorded in the British Siamese Cat Registers. Miss Forestier Walker, one of the founder members of the original Siamese Cat Club in England, owned Tiam O'Shian, an ancestor of Tiam O'Shian IV, who was a prizewinner at the the London Crystal Palace Shows of 1900 and 1901.

    " Mrs. Robert Locke founded the Beresford Cat Club in 1899 and was its first president. Mrs. Locke owned the first registered Siamese cats in America, Lockhaven Siam and
Sally. Calif and Bangkok were bred from Siam and Sally Ward. It was said that Calif and Siam "carried all before them" at the Chicago show in 1902.

    " Probably the first Siamese cat in America arrived during 
the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) as a gift from the American consul in Bangkok to the President's wife, Mrs. Lucy Webb Hayes. Mrs. Hayes was notified that a Siamese cat consigned to her had arrived from Hong Kong on January 3, 1879. It was transported to San Francisco on the steam-powered SS Belgic, with charges prepaid by the consul in Bangkok. The cat had been placed in the charge of the ship's purser until San Francisco and thence was sent by express to Washington. After the cat's safe arrival at the White House, she was named Siam, and soon became a much-admired favorite."

While Siamese cats no longer guard the temples, they certainly retain the attitude that they deserve special treatment.  And reverence.  And special foods.

Although I think my favourite is the one I think of as Motorcycle Cat.  How cute is that little one?

Of course, the tortoise shell cat needs to hire Grumpy Cat's publicist - I think they could vie for the title of Grumpiest Cat.

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