After arriving in Bombay by steamer, Phineas Fogg goes directly to the passport office to take care of that detail. Then, without stopping to see any of the amazing sights in Bombay, he proceeds directly to the railway station. He sits down to order dinner and complies with the landlord's recommendation that he try a dish of "native rabbit."
When Fogg receives the dish, he tries it, but he can't stand its taste, despite the spicy sauce. He rings for the landlord and asks whether the "rabbit" mewed when it was killed. In other words, he suggests that the dish is actually cooked cat. The landlord starts to defend his establishment, implying they would never serve cat, but Fogg won't let him finish. He goads the landlord by saying that cats were once considered sacred animals in India and that those were good times. The landlord asks, "For the cats, my lord?" Fogg replies that it was better for the travelers, too, presumably because they wouldn't be sold cooked cat at restaurants and told they were eating "rabbit from the jungles."