These critters do the darndest things.
Little Toby is always pestering the cats, trying to get them to play, but their usual response is to hisspit and swat him upside the head, sometimes hard enough to make him yelp.
Just now he approached Sam, frisking and yapping; he wanted to play! Sam lifted one paw, showed her teeth, and prepared herself to give Toby a generous helping of the usual. Unimpressed, or too dumb to recognize the signs of impending disaster, he persisted, dancing and jumping about just out of reach, trying to tease her into playing. She hisspit and made a couple of passes at him with her upraised paw.
Two things happened almost simulten. . .simal. . .at the same time; Toby made a grab for and got Sam's tail between his jaws and bit down hard. Before she could react, Maccabee suddenly thrust his nose right up in the cat's face and growled, way down deep. Toby happily chawed away, and Sam kinda ducked her head and just stood there. Mac had stared her down, daring her to molest the puppy.
After a few seconds Toby bounded away looking for a new playmate. Sam headed upstairs where the pup can't go, yet, and Mac lay down at my feet and went to sleep. Pussy, on her usual perch on the mantle, sounded as if she were having an asthma attack, but I think she was laughing. Cherokee, lying on the extended footrest on Patty's end of the couch, safely out of Toby's reach, stood and went into full Halloween cat mode as the pup bounced by, but he just kept going.
That was all well and good until he ran under my desk and bit me unexpectedly on my exposed big toe, then sank his sharp little puppy teeth into Mac's tail and tried to drag him out from under the desk. Mac gave him a taste of what Sam had been about to dish out, plus a little lagniappe on his own account.
Toby is currently in residence under the sofa, plotting his next foray. It probably won't be any more successful than the last, but you can say this for him; he keeps trying.
I'm just glad we didn't get a Great Dane puppy with his attitude.