The chubby black-and-white cat Gacek became the number one rated tourist attraction in the city of Szczecin on Google Maps, with people giving the stray male cat five out of five stars.
Cat lovers are traveling to the city in Poland to see Gacek, who lives in a wooden house on a sidewalk near the city centre. When people find him, they find a sign that reads: “Hi! My name is Gacek. I have been living here, on Kaszubska Street, for six years. I am a free-living cat, and I want to stay that way.”
A woman who owns a shop on Kaszubska Street takes care of Gacek. She feeds him raw meat, takes him inside during heavy rain and puts a hot water bottle beside him when temperatures are low.
While some fans say Gacek became famous because of his cute face, others say it’s the celebrity status he gained from social media that is attracting visitors.
“Gacek is the Kim Kardashian of the cat world,” Karolina Nowak, manager of the TikTok account @pomorzezachodnie for the Western Pomerania region where Szczecin is located, said. “Tourists only started looking for him because he gained popularity on the internet.”
A tourist information center employee in Szczecin said tourism has increased enormously because of cat Gacek.
Not everyone in Szczecin knows they have a famous cat. “I heard about Gacek from my friends from Warsaw exactly, and they sent me an article about him, and here I am!” resident Aleksandra Jankowska said.
“We didn’t know about that before, so it’s something surprising that we’re living here in Szczecin and we don’t know about (Gacek), like a touristic attraction. Now he’s so, so famous in the world, so we can be proud of the cat who is living here,” resident Grzegorz Warcholak said.