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Clint and Rene's Love Story

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's the story that appeared in the Hartford Courant yesterday.

Animal Magnetism
The Hartford Courant
June 24, 2001

As a single guy, Clint Knapp had had his share of blind dates - the majority, in his words, unremarkable.

Rene Carragher had just ended a long-term relationship and wasn't interested in getting involved again.

So six years ago, when a mutual friend kept trying to fix them up, the response was less than enthusiastic from both parties. Finally they agreed to meet. Mostly, they say, to prove the friend wrong.

Says Clint: "I'd heard `I've got the ideal match for you' too many times. I didn't go into it with much in the way of expectations."

Says Rene: "I'd just broken up with the person I thought was the love of my life, so really wasn't interested in `this great guy.' I was done with dating."

Turns out the friend was right. They were perfect for each other, even though it didn't seem so on the surface. He's quiet and mild-mannered, she's talkative and has a black-belt in karate. She's organized, he's - well - not. She was a divorced mom with two teenagers, a cat, a dog and a house; he was a lifelong bachelor, no kids, no pets. But from their first date, they were inseparable.

"After we'd been together for a few months, people who met us would think we'd been married for years," says Rene. "We really complement each other."

At the time, it seemed like a classic case of opposites attracting.

In hindsight, "animal magnetism" might be more apt.

A few months after they started dating, Knapp, a security manager at a health center, was asked to solve the problem of feral cats roaming the grounds. He placed a number of the animals, but couldn't find homes for two tinykittens.

"I called Rene and said, `I've got these two balls of white fluff on my desk,' " says Clint Knapp. "Without hesitating, she said, `Bring them home.' "

They named the kittens Milo and Dakota, nursed them to health and adopted them. The experience was so satisfying, the couple started working with a local animal center and taking in other abandoned cats and kittens. Within six months - in spite of the fact that they were juggling full-time jobs, kids and a new relationship - they decided to start their own animal rescue organization called Helping Paws. They also decided to plan a wedding.

Less than a year after they met, the couple was married, surrounded by family, friends and animals. During the five years since, they've built Helping Paws into a volunteer organization that has placed close to 5,000 animals; developed a local radio and cable TV show called "Pet Talk" (Rene hosts, Clint directs and edits); and hit the cat show circuit.

Plans include developing an animal sanctuary and education center on a tract of land that was recently donated to Helping Paws.

The couple does virtually everything together, including talking on the phone two or three times a day, running the organization, coordinating the activities of two busy teenagers, and caring for their 18 cats. They both say they couldn't be happier.

"He got an instant family and I got a new best friend," says Rene. "Best of all, we both got a whole new mission in life and somebody to share it with."

It's a match made in heaven


post #2 of 25
what a wonderful story!
post #3 of 25
How absolutely romantic!!!!!!!!!
post #4 of 25
Great story. Rene also said that there are pictures and she's sending me a copy of the paper -- autographed. Actually, they are the perfect couple.

post #5 of 25
Thank you so much for sharing it!
post #6 of 25
Don't everybody get all sappy about this - actually, the best part of the article was the pictures - one is of Clint, me and Merlot and the other of Milo at our wedding. We had white flowers all over the house (we got married by a friend in our own home with only a few people) and Milo, who is also white, got into the middle of the flower arrangement and started to eat the flowers! Before we removed him, we took some great pictures and that was one the Courant used. Donna has the pictures, maybe she can scan them in when she is at work or I can ask Sandie to? All kidding aside, my husband and I have a good life together - and I know I am lucky.
post #7 of 25
Sigh! That was the nicest story.

Rene, first Cat Fancy and now this! You are really getting famous, girl.
post #8 of 25
All I can add is more of what everyone has already said; What a "Heart-Warming " story. Thank you for sharing it. It proves that there is someone for everyone,(even if we don't find them on the first go-round!!!
post #9 of 25
Congratulations and best wishes to you and Clint — and your feline friends!

post #10 of 25
Great story Rene!!! And great work too!!! Wish I was there to give you a paw with it... And teh story about Milo eating the flowers is hillarious - my Eric also loves doing this :LOL:
post #11 of 25
What a wonderfull story. The best part is it still continues.
post #12 of 25
that was a beautiful story
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody,

With the help of the photo department at the Courant, I will be posting the pictures momentarily.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
I guess he got a little hungry during the ceremony!
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's Clint, Rene and Merlot!
post #16 of 25

what great photographs!

thanks Donna for posting them
post #17 of 25
Thank You, Donna. What glorious photos!!! If I had ever gotten married; I would have wanted my kitties there just like Merlin and Milo. I have to agree again that the "Best Part" of this story is that it continues. . . . .at
post #18 of 25
Oh Rene!!!!!!!!! I LOVE that picture of you guys with the cat!!!!! What an absolutely adorable couple you make!!! You are right...you were SO lucky to find a man who not only loves you, but loves cats as well!!!!!!
I would LOVE to have a copy of that newspaper....if I PM you my address could you send me one???????
post #19 of 25
The picture of Rene, Clint and the cat (a/k/a Merlot) is the picture I have hanging in my hallway. It's the picture I took of them the day I handed Merlot over to his new parents. It made me cry knowing he was so loved. Anyway, it's a great picture and a truely wonderful love story.


BTW, Merlot's half brother, Louie, will be starting his show circuit in September. He's looking more and more like his half brother.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

I work at the Courant. PM me your address and I'll send you a copy.

post #21 of 25
What a Purrfect family!

The pics are beautiful, and the story even more so, may you all share Many more wonderful years together!

(gotta love Milo!)

post #22 of 25
Thanks everyone - I am glad Donna is sending you a copy of the article because I don't know how to PM or get PM's - talk about being inept - Donna or Sandie you need to teach me how to do that and if anyone did PM me in the last few months, sorry....
post #23 of 25
What a beautiful story and pictures! You do make a very handsome couple! And the cats are sooooooooo cute...
post #24 of 25
Clint and Rene are two of my best friends in the world. They are truly great people and I love them to death. The work they do with animals is incredible and I am happy to be a part of their life. I hope that they have many, many years together and that Jerry and I will always be their friends.
post #25 of 25
Okay, Donna....I am sending you a PM with my address! Thanks!!!!
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