Khao Manee Cat Cost $800 To $1600
The Khao Manee (“white jewel”) is now winning the hearts of American and European cat lovers, following other Thai cats such as the Wichien Maas (Siamese), the Si Sawaat (Korat) and the Thong Daeng (Copper). In June 1999 the first Khao Manees ever to leave Thailand arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. They were greeted by Colleen Freymuth who later in the same year became the first person to breed Khao Manees outside Thailand and on 5th Jan 2001, the Traditional Cat Association in America formally registered the Khao Manee, thus recognizing them as a distinct breed. A picture of the Khao Manee recently appeared in a magazine in Hungary suggesting that the word is now out throughout Europe as well.
I first became interested in the Khao Manee when Colleen Freymuth, an Arizona based breeder of rare animals approached me regarding obtaining some in order to preserve what she believed to be an endangered breed. Any concerns about placing an animal in the hands of a stranger were dispelled by the fact that Colleen was the holder of a US federal license for breeding endangered species, which imposes strict standards regarding the care of animal in a breeding program, and conversations with her convinced me that she was a true animal lover.
The Khao Manee, a minor Thai breed still being raised by people in Thailand, is generally thought of as a white cat with one yellow and one blue eye, sometimes called the “diamond eye”. I had first seen one in the course of researching an article on Si Sawaat, while talking to a cat owner who seemed especially proud of her Khao Manee, and claimed that ownership of the Khao Manees had brought her good luck. This was not unusual as Thais are a superstitious people and part of the reason for the Khao Manee’s popularity lies in the ancient Thai belief that certain types of cat bring good fortune to those who look after them. In Cat Book of Poems or Tamra Maew, which dates back to the Ayutthaya period, it states
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