When the Serapit last left Bombay the Duchess of Connaught intrusted a favorite cat to a sergeant of the Royal Artillery for conveyance to England. The cat appears to have been in a delicate state of health, whence, I suppose the solicitude of Her Royal Highness on the animal's behalf, and before arrival in England a litter of kittens was born. On reaching Portsmouth the sergeant was allowed to take away the cat, but the authorities of the ship declined to part with the kittens, for which the ship's company had a superstitious regard. Only one cat, they contended, had been embarked, and they had no power to discharge any more. It is stated that a bulky correspondence has already taken plaoe on the subject, and that tho difficulty is as far as ever from being settled. In the event of a child being born on board the ship, would the authorities have insisted upon their right to retain it ?
-- from the London Truth, excerpted in the Legal News, James Kirby, editor (Montreal: The Gazette Printing Co., 1885), vol. IX, p.16