A rare strain of bird flu has swept through the Big Apple’s animal shelters — and city officials have locked up about 500 felines in a quarantine facility to stop the outbreak. So far, 386 of the purring patients have tested positive for the H7N2 virus — the first time the disease has even been found in cats, officials said.

Two of the cats have died, along with the original host: a Bronx shelter adoptee named Alfred, who became sick in October. But workers have no plans to put down any of the sick cats and instead will treat them for the virus, which has baffled the medical staff. READ MORE