Madi came home to three black cats--Schroeder, Cinnamon, & Rooty. We suspected that she had not been accustomed to having pets in China, and Jimmy and I were in agreement that it was very important to teach Madi respect for animals. We also knew that we would have to protect her from harm should the cats not accept her right away. We were often reminded by friends and family that the cats would have to be put to the street if they didn't get along! In the beginning, Madi and the cats were fearful of each other. The first time one of the cats sniffed her foot, she absolutely freaked out. Then Grandpa decided to tease her and touch her foot pretending to be the cat. That didn't go over too well--Madi jumped sky-high and practically leaped into his arms. We got a good laugh at her expense!
Madi went through a phase of trying to pull their tails if she could catch them, and they learned quickly how to stay very far away from her! I remember once when Schroeder aka "Baby Co" hissed and batted at her when she was in his face. Madi, of course, began to cry--mostly because her feelings were hurt. We used this encounter as another example to teach her why she needed to respect animals. I'll never forget that Grandma Murphy came to Madi's defense immediately. She was furious with us for not punishing the cat!
I'm happy to report that Madi and her cats are now best friends. She likes to reminisce about how she pulled their tails when she was a baby and points out how she is so good with them now because she's a big girl. Schroeder, who rarely entered her bedroom before, is now found frequently sleeping on her bed. Madi loves her cats; although, once in a while she gets a little jealous if I'm petting one of them, and she'll grab my hand and say, "Pet me! Pet me!"