Sometimes Love Unintentionally Pricks

My dad and Gabriel, helping my mom learn about "accidental love pricks"
My dad and Gabriel, helping my mom learn about “accidental love pricks”

Lessons from Cat Sitting Gabriel
Guestpost by Loral Pepoon, Clive’s Mom

This weekend, we are watching our friend’s cat, Gabriel, because he just had surgery a couple of days ago. Our friends, his owners, just wanted to make sure he was OK since they were going to be away so soon.

My husband and I were elated to report to our friends that he was feeling well enough to jump up on our laps this morning!

But the events that ensued after that were a bit surprising—and yet insightful!

I was so excited to see that Gabriel was better, to receive his love, and to have him with me on my chair! He could sense that love, and his motor began to roar. He then took the next step to show his adoration: kneading…you know, that’s when cats press one hand and then the next into you…

The problem was, that Gabriel has claws, and the claws were pricking my skin with every move!

Gabriel just wanted to be close to me, to show his affection and to rest in companionship. But I was unprepared to receive it. I hadn’t put on a protective clothing—I was wearing shorts.

I was sad to have to interrupt this precious moment and make him get down, but I had to—for the sake of my legs! He then promptly got onto my husband, who had longer shorts on. My husband was able to grab his claws and keep Gabriel from kneading and to keep them both comfortable. He saw the hurtful potential in this interaction and stopped it in its tracks. The morning love sweetly continued.

Tonight all was redeemed with Gabriel and I. He jumped up on my lap once again. This time, I was ready. I was covered with a blanket on the couch and he could offer cuddles without pain. He could relax and so could I, and in a couple minutes, he fell fast asleep. He is sleeping on my legs as I write this—but it took us another attempt to get here.

Relationship interactions cycle like my interactions with Gabriel did today.

Sometimes, in our best efforts to love people, we prick them just because we are excited and haven’t trimmed our own claws enough.

I know my husband and I accidentally prick each other much more often than we would like. All we are trying to do is express love, but somehow—to our complete surprise—our actions end up scratching a sore or unprotected spot.

So, how can we cover ourselves? How can we still experience the closeness of love? Put on a protective blanket that covers our fragile skin or sore spots.

As I live in relationship with my husband, that covering also means looking past what actually happened in a hurtful moment to what I know what was intended by him.

It can also mean trying to gain an understanding of how he has been created or conditioned as as factors before I make a judgment about how his action translates into his feelings for me.

I’m actually thankful for these accidental “pricks” are also fantastic conversation starters and lie busters.

We can clear the air by sharing what we meant to do, just as soon as we can stop the immediate hurt and get each person to hear an explanation. We can also share about why we tend to do what we do, and tell each other how our previous experiences have shaped us.

Sometimes another person giving a loving reaction despite the prick we might have given can help us realize that perhaps our defenses came out when they weren’t needed—like the cat’s claws came out when he was trying to love.

We can also try to alter our perceptions based on the totality of another’s personality rather than making a judgment based on a single action. Gabriel, like my husband, is a gem the lionshare of the time—those claws only come out and hurt on rare occasions. In my husband, I see sweetness, care, responsibility and love with 95% of his actions—and that track record helps me forgive the small percentage of actions that hurt me without him knowing or intending to.

But today, I’m also thankful for those accidental pricks. They help us learn about what we can do to make the situation better—and our relationship continues to grow.

With every accidental love prick, we learn.

To learn more about relationship lessons on the adventures of life, please visit my husband’s blog,

Has something that has “pricked” you taught you something? What insights might you have to share?

If you have a blog, article or book that you aren’t sure how to start or if you feel stuck, I can help! Visit or contact me. I have helped corporations, small businesses and authors craft compelling messages for more nearly 20 years—and I can help you too!



Seven Ways I Am Like My Mom

It’s my mom’s birthday, so I told her I would do a post for her tonight so that she completes her current blog challenge. Recently, she wrote a story about how she’s like me—Clive, her cat. So, for her birthday, I thought it was only fitting that I told you how I have become like her.

  1. I love to be right up in my loved ones space! I’m so thankful for them! I know she is thankful for me too—I made her top 10 list of things she is thankful for! I show my love much of the time by sniffing faces, settling on laps or laying on their chests. I do this most often if she has her laptop.I see her do that to my dad, though, too! So, I learned that interrupt whatever is happening if I want love. My dad can be working on his blog, which tells of their adventures together, and she walks up to him, and sits on his lap and asks, “What are you doing?” AND I’ve seen my dad do the same thing to her, too—but this post is about how I am like my mom.
  2. I beg for food if I smell something good. I also learned this from my mom. If my dad has something on his plate that she wants, He must share, or she will take it! But she always asks first. And that’s all I’m doing when I meow when my parents eat! I’m asking many times! But, if they don’t give me any, I’ll eventually try to get up on the table and take my share.
  3. I love gazing out the window on a beautiful day when the sun is shining. I see my mom look out the window longingly as she is waiting for the words to come that she writes. I watch her close her eyes and warm her face in the sunshine. I do that too, after I look at everything—I just bask in it. That’s why mom mom loves where we live now—that’s up on a hill. We have beautiful views of trees and the sun and the woods, with windows on three sides of the room where she typically sits during the day.
  4. I love bird watching. My dad calls my mom “bluebird queen” because she loves bluebirds and because they played a part in her coming to Tennessee. But that’s another story she will have to tell. I love watching the bluebirds, robins, cardinals, blackbirds and any other bird I see outside. I meow at them quietly and wag my tail, but they don’t seem to hear me.
  5. I go through many hair ties . Mom is always putting these things in her hair, and taking her hair down again and leaving the hair tie wherever she is—and she thinks they disappear. Hair ties are my absolute favorite toy. I take them. I chase them all over the floor until they go under a piece of furniture. But she doesn’t see where they go and I can’t them out of there. Whenever we move next, we will find all the lost hairties, and have great fun!
  6. I am most content at home, but I long to get outside, too. My mom works at home, and she has to go run an errand just to get out sometimes so she can see the outside world. I totally get that. I want to get outside everytime a door opens. I always get right to the door, but then one of my humans blocks me from getting out. Then I remember that they are in there or I know they will come back, and I am comforted—because my number one priority is to just be with them.
  7. I am comforted by talking to my people. When mom feeds me, I say thank you. When she calls me, I perk up. When she calls my name and pats her lap or rubs her chest, I come. I know her signals for wanting love—and I’m happy to oblige.

I love you Mom, and I hope me writing the blog today for your birthday has made you feel special.

Mom is taking a few days off from projects, but she wanted me to tell you that if you have a writing or editing project that you need done, please feel free to check out her Website, You can read her blog posts there about writing, view her online portfolio and contact her. She’ll be back at it again soon.