Category Archives: animals

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!



Country Living with Critters

moving clive

Clive, my 23-pound tabby hunk of feline love, teaches me life lessons every day.

My parents recently moved from a city apartment to a small country house. After I got over the traumatic experience of my entire world being torn apart, I grew to really love this country house.

It felt like a homecoming of sorts, because when I first met my mom, she lived with two other ladies in a country home. I had missed the panoramic views and watching the birds—and now I get to enjoy these sights again.

My favorite part of our new home is that now, my  parents let me sleep on the bed with them—all night long! I am thrilled that the closet where my food is doesn’t have a real door—because if it did, they would likely make me sleep in there.

I also love how cool the uncarpeted floors ar on my furry belly! Mom has area rugs and blankets, though, if I feel like getting cozy and warm.


First, a racoon lived under our house. I know those things can hurt me, but luckily my dad is kind of Daniel Boone like—and he trapped him and took him away.

Next, a possum took his place. If my parents knew then what they knew now, they would have kept him, because those ugly beasts eat ticks.


Later, squirrels scurried above our heads between the ceiling and the roof! We were all trying to take a nap one Sunday, and these noisy nut-seekers were so loud that they were disturbing our peace. Well, my dad wasn’t going to stand for that, and he went outside in a hurry! I’m not sure what he did, but we haven’t heard them since!

Then, ants and worms invaded my “party in the potty.” I love to go to the loo whenever one of my parents do, so that’s what she calls our time together there. I know my mom wishes that I would eat the bugs and worms, but I think they are gross—just like she does.

Speaking of the potty, we had to get a new one. Yep, for at least three days, my parents had no indoor plumbing. It was pretty gross, and they were gone a lot. At least they didn’t try to use my box! They are too big!

And, now…the worst critters of all—FLEAS and TICKS! These monsters must have been mad when my dad got rid of all the other critters and they found their way to me. I itch everywhere, and the first medicine made me really sick. I got another kind after mom and dad took me to the Kitty ER the other night.

It’s supposed to take a few days to work, and mom and dad are washing everything in site. So, for a few more days, my cozy home is kind of crazy.

But, I can deal with all these critters, as long as my mom and dad are here, and they love on me—which they always do.

So, here’s my Insightful Insight for this weekend:

Don’t let the distractions get you down. You—and your loved ones—can defeat them by focusing on what’s most important.

If you want to read more about how to deal with ticks, read my dad’s blog, Hiking With Your Honey.