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21st Feb 2023

Fat-cat becomes city’s top-rated tourist attraction – with purrfect 5-star rating

Steve Hopkins

Gacek’s reputation was somewhat damaged by an incident involving a sausage

A fat black-and-white cat that lives on the street has become the top-rated tourist attraction in a Polish city.

The puss, called Gacek, has a perfect five-star rating on Google Maps.

Tourists visiting the medieval city of Szczecin have seemingly swapped historical landmarks and museums for a tour with Gacek, whose named, pronounced gats-ek, means “long-eared bat” in Polish.

Szczecin, in northwestern Poland and close to the border with Germany, offers visitors plenty of tourist attractions including the Pomeranian Duke’s Castle and Kasprowicza Park.

But the feline, said to have first appeared on the streets a decade ago and now known as the ‘King of Kaszubska Street’, has beaten many of them to become a must-see attraction.

Gacek’s been living in a covered wooden box on Szczecin’s Kaszubska Street for several years and, judging by his physique, gets plenty of snacks from passers-by, local news outlet wSzczecinie reports.

This isn’t Gacek’s first brush with fame, the cat has been clocking up views on YouTube since a documentary came out about him in 2020.

He’s now so famous he’s lured visitors from neighbouring Germany, according to Notes From Poland.

According to Mental Floss, the moggy’s previous listing had almost  2,600 reviews before it was removed. A new listing has attracted nearly 500 reviews and an average 5-star rating in its first 48 hours, Insider reports.

One reviewer wrote: “I am very fortunate to have come here and meet this distinguished gentle creature.”

In August 2021, one person said they’d flown all the way from Oslo, to see Gacek, Insider reported: “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.”

While the cat is certainly famous – he boasts more than 8,000 followers on Instagram, not everyone is a fan. One person left Gacek a one-star rating in 2022. The cat had “stole a sausage”.

According to locals and tourists, Gacek is a “fantastically handsome and superb fellow” but he has a tendency to scratch or steal food when he’s in a bad mood.

A local animal shelter has urged visitors not to feed Gacek, as his box is located outside a shop whose workers look after him.

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