Teresa Rossini was an older Italian woman who lived in Foster Creek. She had many cats; one of them was named Bennington.
When Annie McNeal came along and was spotted by a gang called the Locos, Mrs. Rossini pulled her into her house for safety. She managed to calm Annie down, and Annie soon learned that Mrs. Rossini is actually a lonely widow, who is pleased to have company for the first time in years, and also a Christian.
She and Annie have a delightful afternoon tea, and Mrs. Rossini also befriended Annie while telling her stories about how the Lord pulled her through some difficult times in her life. She also advised Annie that money doesn't automatically make people happy, that it's what's in one's heart that counts, and that, in her words, "that happiness comes straight from heaven", when one is right with the Lord. She then told Annie that if Annie hung on to her faith in the Lord, there wasn't a single thing on Earth that could take it away.
Suddenly, the Locos return. They smash Mrs. Rossini's windows and threaten to break into the house. Luckily, they disappear as quickly as they came — thanks to some quick thinking by Whit, who had showed up with several deputies from the sheriff's department. They all head back to Pastor Clarence Pike's church for a delicious day-after-Christmas lunch, where Whit informs Tommy and Annie that since their disobedience led to the broken windows, they'll have to work to replace them. While Tommy is disappointed, Annie doesn't mind a bit; she's glad to have something worthwhile to do with her time. Her afternoon with Mrs. Rossini has taught her a valuable lesson: the fun of getting Christmas presents can quickly disappear, but the excitement of giving lasts all year long.
Mrs. Rossini was once married and had two boys. Sadly, when they went fishing with their father, they got into a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver.