Valentine's Day Companion Animal Love Stories: April and Gene


Around Valentine's Day, we are all present to the love we have in our lives.  The Clifton Times wants to honor the loving relationships many of us have to our companion animals.  The relationships we develop as we care for our companions are so special, and we wanted to share some local love stories of Clifton’s pets.

April Rastätter and Gene
April Rastätter and her fiancé had been fostering kittens for the Clifton Animal Shelter regularly. In September of 2020, she was at the shelter when someone brought in a tiny ginger tabby kitten they found out by the Allwood Diner. He was so tiny, so cute, and needed a foster home because he was too little to be in the shelter. So April offered to take him. In no time, this tiny little guy made himself comfortable at their place and when he was eight weeks old and it was time to bring him to the shelter to go up for adoption, she and her fiancé realized there was no way they could imagine their home without him. Gene officially became part of their family in November of 2020.

April told us that when she and her fiancé moved in together in 2020 and the pandemic hit, it felt like even though they were together, they were so isolated. Having Gene’s kitten energy in the house made little everyday tasks joyful. April said, “I think that is something surprising about having pets that folks often don't consider. They really do change your life. We may take care of them, be their guardians, but they are ours too. They find us just when we need them.”

We hope that you will consider adopting some of the beautiful pets at our local shelters to add more love and joy to your homes this Valentine's Day week! 

Gene lounging at home
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