The Khao Manee


A Thai stamp picturing the Khao ManeeFor most people in the US or Europe a 'Siamese' cat is the famous seal point with their wedge shaped head and blue eyes. But in their native Thailand it is the Khao Manee 'White Jewel', sometimes known as the Khao Plort ('All White') which is the most popular and celebrated of the traditional breeds and recent research has uncovered that they, not the seal point, were the true Royal Cats of Old Siam.
The Khao Manee which can be identified by their pure white fur and eyes of differing colors are among the most exotic and interesting of all cats. Some have pairings of one blue and one emerald green eye, while others have blue and yellow pairings and are sometimes called "Gold & Silver Eyes". Some have both blue or both yellow or green. It is only recently that the genetic mutations that produce the diamond eye have been understood.
The Khao Manees' popularity goes back many years. The Tamra Maew or Cat Book of Poems (1350 - 1767), the ancient Thai treatise on cats describes it as:

"...completely white, eyes of clear mercury,
this cat if in any house,
brings long life and title,
material wealth coming in with no decrease
will be entertained with all things in happiness."

They were a particular favorite of Rama V, one of Thailand's greatest kings who bred and fixed the type and were closely guarded in the royal palace. The penalty (so legend has it) for a commoner stealing one was death...
They all have a marvelous temperament, and show great trust in humans. If given love and proper care they make excellent pets.