The city of Szczecin, Poland has many beautiful and historic sites, but none are as popular as a chubby street cat named Gacek.
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In 2020, a local news site shared videos of the black-and-white cat who lives in a box on Kaszubska Street on their social media pages, and Gacek became a viral sensation! He’s now prominently featured on his city’s Instagram and TikTok pages, and tourists come from miles around to catch a glimpse of the famous feline.
“Gacek is the Kim Kardashian of the cat world,” said Karolina Nowak, who manages the official TikTok account for the Western Pomerania region where Gacek lives. “Tourists only started looking for him because he gained popularity on the Internet.”
Thanks to his internet fame, the “Kot Gacek,” or “Gacek the Cat,” pin now has more than 1,850 reviews on Google Maps, with a cumulative rating of 5 stars.
“Really cute cat, 10/10,” wrote one visitor.
“A very nice and cute gentleman,” another agreed.
“Beautiful and fat,” said another Gacek fan.
City officials say Gacek is now officially the number one tourist destination in Szczecin, beating out attractions like the Pomeranian Duke’s Castle and Kasprowicza Park.
Gacek has lived on this same street for about 10 years. Shop owners feed him and provide him with a warm bed, and his many visitors bring him tasty treats – sometimes too many! His name means “long-eared bat” in Polish, but these days he goes by another moniker: “the King of Kaszubska Street!”
City officials are still boggled by Gacek’s popularity, but they’re not looking to turn tourists away. Szymon Maksymiuk works for the tourist information center in Szczecin, and he says people are traveling from other countries to see their famous cat!
“There was a guy from Norway who took a flight,” said Szymon. “He claimed Gacek drove him to make the decision of coming here. Because of Gacek, tourism has increased enormously, far beyond my expectation or imagination.”
Way to go, Gacek! If you’ve seen one cathedral, you’ve seen them all… but cats are as unique as snowflakes. We’d make a beeline to see this “tourist attraction,” too.
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