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There’s a peculiar crackling of electricity, and mysterious blue smoke issues from the breaker box. It pools like oil on the floor and pillows forward, wrapping the rickety banister, up the stairs to the foyer. It congeals into a fat little man in a loincloth.

“Hello,” says the cat, watching.

“Hail!” says the little man. “I am Sextus Spiritus, itinerant household god. Whose abode is this?”

“The big bipeds’ upstairs,” says the cat.

Sextus peers at it. “Aren’t you supposed to tell me that you allow them to live here?”

“Are you kidding?” snorts the cat. “They could kick my ass.”