Hypozeuxis


Hypozeuxis (hyp-o-zook’-sis): Opposite of zeugma. Every clause has its own verb.


I found my charger cable. I found my sock. I found my wallet. I found my passport. I found them all underneath my cat’s bed, in a corner, on the living room floor. I had flipped the bed over by accident when I was pushing it with my foot because it was in the way of my bookcase’s bottom shelf. That’s where I kept my copy of “Sleeping in the Light: Iceland, Steam, and Lava.” I had been to Iceland on vacation every year for the past five years. I loved the beauty of the razor-sharp lava fields, the giant natural hot tubs, and the delicious barbecued Minke sandwiches.

As I looked at my belongings on the floor, I couldn’t imagine how my cat could’ve put everything under his bed, let alone carry them there. I was getting ready for my annual trek to Iceland, and thought that, as crazy as it seemed, my cat was trying to thwart my vacation plans. With the exception of the sock, the stuff hidden under his bed was critical to my travel. Without my wallet or passport, I was finished. With no charger chord, I would be inconvenienced. The sock had been missing for a year. It was irrelevant. I would catch him! I would set up CCTV in the living room and my bedroom and review the recordings every morning. I put everything back the way it was so my cat would not be suspicious. He hadn’t come out of the basement for two days, at least, as far as I knew. This wasn’t unusual. My guess was, he was coming up at night to do his dirty work. His empty food dish told me that.

My guess was confirmed the next morning when I reviewed the recordings. My fingernail clippers were missing from the little dish on my dresser. My mother had given them to me when I was 12 and I had developed an attachment to them and an obsession with clipping my nails. The nail clippers went with me wherever and whenever I travelled. I had had them gold-plated and a gold jump ring added. I wore them on a gold chain. They were missing.

There on the recording was my cat sneaking into my bedroom, jumping up on my dresser, and grabbing the nail clippers in his mouth. The clip from the second camera shows him in the living room pushing his head under his bed, dropping the clippers, slowly backing away, and then, curling up in his bed. I was astounded, and at the same time, wanted to figure out what to do. Why did he decide to do this when I was getting ready for my 6th Iceland trip, when he had never done it before? Maybe he was finally fed up with having to stay with my sister. She has five children who probably taunt Him. I decided to take everything (but the sock) back from under under his bed.

The first night, he took my passport again. The cat was persistent. So, as a typical cat owner, I decided to take him with me on my next trip. The process was convoluted, culminating in a 14-day quarantine at the airport. I sat him down on the kitchen island, at eye level, and told him what I was going to do. His tail shot up like a pillar of fur, signifying his happiness. Over the next few days he returned everything to its rightful place. We started working on leash training, and he quickly mastered walking on a leash. I filled out all paperwork from Iceland for his “pet passport.” I was allowed to keep him in the airplane’s cabin during our flight. I got him a “Cat Caliph” pet carrier. If he touched a mouse-faced button on the carrier’s side, the floor rolled back revealing a special travel litter box that could be used with no odor, or cleaning, for one week. I filled my backpack with “10,000 Salmon Heads” kitty treats. For the most part The cate would ride on my lap, sleeping and looking out the window.

Postscript:

We had a wonderful trip. The cat made many friends. When it got close to time to leave, my passport went missing. I looked under The cat’s bed in our hotel room and there it was.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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