In the Polish city of Szczecin, the most popular tourist attraction is not a historical landmark, art museum or monument – it is a rather large cat. Gacek is a beloved feline who lives in a wooden box on Kaszubska Street and has now captured the attention of cat lovers world over. He has even acquired for himself a five-star rating on Google Maps across almost 500 reviews that came within less than 48 hours of the listing.
After a local news outlet, wSzczecinie, covered him in a video in 2020, he quickly shot to international fame. That video has over 600,000 views today. The black-and-white cat gets his name from the Polish word for “long-eared bat”. It is pronounced gats-ek. He has lived on Kaszubska Street for many years, and locals and tourists who pass by often feed him. Sadly for new tourists, there is now a sign outside Gacek’s box asking them to leave food in sealed containers. The city’s animal shelter has requested people to not feed him, perhaps due to concerns that he is overweight.
One reviewer on Google Maps wrote, “I am very fortunate to have come here and meet this distinguished gentle creature, he shared many great stories and even let me rub his cute little belly, I would definitely recommend any and all individuals to come meet his excellence, and share the experience I have cherished for many years now.”
They gave him a perfect five-star rating, and why wouldn’t they? Just look at him.
Another five-star review reads, “As expected, he didn’t pay any attention to me which made the experience fully wholesome. If I could have a dinner with anyone in the world, I would fly again in an instant to feed him. Can recommend!”
As we appreciate Gacek’s road to fame, a beloved late furry friend comes to mind. Fidèle, a yellow labrador retriever was among the most well-loved tourist attractions in Bruges, Belgium. He lived with his human, Caroline Van Langeraet, at the bed-and-breakfast she owned. Tourists often spotted him dozing on the windowsill facing the Groenerei canal. He even bagged his own television advertisement for Godiva Chocolatier.
Besides, if Stubbs the cat could become the honorary mayor Talkeetna, Alaska, Gacek can certainly attract visitors from all around the globe. Locals and tourists considered Stubbs to be a tourist attraction too, before his foray into politics, of course. He receives cards and letters everyday, and many tourists arrive eagerly to visit him.
Cat lovers are thrilled by Gacek’s continuously growing popularity, and await updates about his daily adventures on his Instagram account.