TRUCKEE - A cat from Tahoe City recently brought into a Truckee veterinary clinic had bubonic plague.
Dr. Brent Packer, the Nevada County Health Officer, said the cat was found next to a dead squirrel, "and the assumption is there was contact. It wasn't a flea," that gave the now-dead feline the disease.
There have been no human cases of plague within the county and only 17 nationally in the last 20 years, Packer said.
There have been no recent cases in California's western Nevada County.
"All the cases in recent years were in the high mountains of the Truckee area," Packer said.
The best way to protect a pet from the plague is to keep it away from rodents that might carry it, Packer said, but he admitted that would be hard in the rugged terrain around Truckee.