When Genea arrived, we had 3 cats and we were not an exception. I think probably the time I came closest to losing control of myself entirely, in a dangerous way, was when I caught her kicking one of them. We maintained line- of- sight supervision and mostly the cats stayed as far away from her as they could.
Eventually years went by without incident, 2 of the cats died, and we got Bindi last month.
Teena, not so much with the cooperating. Her impulses were greater than her control. She reached out a few times and Bindi stopped snaking by her. Later, she kept trying to entice Bindi to play until I gave up telling her to quit it, and let nature take its course. The course being a one way street to a slashed up hand.
Genea however, did everything I told her to do. The word 'magical' seems exaggerated but really, it fits. Bindi walked by her a few times, then rubbed on her knee. Genea asked and was okayed to pet her, gently and calmly. Several days of this, and it became clear that Bindi had a great preference for Genea over the rest of us. She sits with Genea, or follows her around the house. Genea does her daily reading with Bindi after school- I mean, she sits there and reads a book out loud to Bindi, who now knows all about Junie B Jones. I can't even describe how cute that is!
She was horrified to hear Bindi's history. She was found as a pregnant stray, about 1 year old (sigh, teenage pregnancy). She had her babies and they were all adopted but Bindi sat for another year in a cage at the Humane Society.
So Genea, she is just beside herself with this relationship. Shocked, stunned, amazed that what I told her to do worked. Like I told her the secrets to rocket science and she didn't believe it until she found herself on Mars eating jello. (Years ago she came home from school and announced her teacher said eating vegetables is healthy, so could I be sure to serve her some vegetables? omg I hadn't thought of that arggggggh ). Every person she tells about our new cat, which is everyone in a 2 mile radius, gets to hear how schnockered she was to discover her Mama knew something and was right about it! Whooda thunk?
Here's where it affects the RAD. For years, Genea has had the most insincere tone interacting with little beings. Seeing her new baby cousin, she'd say "aww. Oh look. At. The cute ba- there's a squirrel can I have a lollipop you have to wash my clothes now", with the same tone as if she were saying " I gotta take out the trash". It made my internal organs cringe but honestly, I stopped noticing it ages ago. Just part of Genea, one of those things she is going to have to learn. But with Bindi, it's sincere. She sounds like she really does think Bindi is cute. It sounds natural, and that right there is amazing all by itself.
Here's another effect on the RAD. I think Bindi got too close. Maybe too affectionate or too loving. She was laying on Genea's lap and maybe Genea got scared, anxious that something loved her and so for the first time in ages, Genea pea'd a little on herself. It was her go-to response for so long to push people away and I suspect it flared back up with Bindi.
I had hoped, and I was probably too optimistic (ha ha, no one has ever said that to me), I could say things like "stop shrieking like your eyebrows are on fire, you're scaring Bindi". Or maybe "Bindi gets nervous when you hurl things into the wall". This does not have any effect. At all. But the rest of it is awesome!