Cats are cute, they do cute things like sitting in boxes that are too small and pouncing on bugs. You can’t get on the internet without seeing cats and kittens doing cute things. There is one thing to remember. You are not the cat's owner; you are the cat's pet.  

Lazy fat cat sleeping on the couch

So here is a scary story.  

According to, 

“Oregon has had its first case of the plague in around eight years, after being confirmed in a state resident by health officials – and are suspected to have been infected by their pet cat. The Deschutes County Health Services announced on Wednesday a local resident had the plague, saying it is likely that their “symptomatic pet cat” infected the individual.
“All close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and provided medication to prevent illness,” said Dr Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County health officer.” 

To me this is terrifying. I don’t have a pet at home, (it would be bad for the pet, I am never there.) But my girlfriend is a cat person. She loves cats in every way possible including letting the neighbor cats drop by and hang out. (Ok they are cats; they do what they want.) 

Tired cat

The good news for this case in Oregon was that it was spotted early. 

According to, 

“The human case was identified and treated in the earlier stages of the disease, meaning it posed little risk to the community, the health services said.
The Independent has contacted the Deschutes County Health Services for more information on this.
However, the patient “responded very well to antibiotic treatment”, according to the doctor.
As the plague progresses, it becomes increasingly more difficult to treat.”  

The total number of plague cases reported between 1970 and 2020 in the US is 496, the CDC said, with an average of seven human cases reported per year. 

 What is the plague? 

Scientists Replicate Elastic Protein Found In Fleas
Getty Images

According to,
"The plague is usually associated with the Black Death that killed millions in Europe in the 1300s or the worldwide plague outbreak that started in the 19th century.
While cases are still around today, it is not at the population-devastating level as it was in the past, as modern antibiotics are effective at treating the illness.
The plague spreads to humans or animals through a bite of an infected flea or having contact with an animal sick with the disease. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.
In humans, symptoms will appear around two to eight days after exposure."

Funny kitten
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Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

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