|Two mice-cats per ship|
Cats don’t like water, but, oddly, they travel well by sea, since they don’t get motion sickness. It was discovered long ago that they will serve as rodent exterminators on ships as well as on land, and ships are never without rodents.
Back in the 1600s the value of cats at sea was realized by Jean Baptiste Colbert, the head of France’s treasury under King Louis XIV. Hoping to keep rodents—and thus disease—at a minimum on French ships, Colbert mandated that all ships leaving French ports should have a minimum of “two mice-cats” on each ship.