A chubby black-and-white cat named Gacek has captured the hearts of cat lovers and become an online sensation in Szczecin, Poland. Visitors flock to Kaszubska Street to see him relaxing on a blanket in a small wooden box made by his owner, where he has lived for more than a decade. The cat’s home has become the highest-rated attraction in Szczecin on Google Maps and has even surpassed other popular sights such as a Renaissance castle. Tourists refer to Gacek as the “Kim Kardashian of the cat world,” and many only started looking for him due to his online popularity.
According to Szymon Maksymiuk, an employee at a tourist information center in Szczecin, the tales of people traveling to see Gacek are astonishing. One particular individual from Norway even hopped on a flight because Gacek’s charisma influenced him to visit. Maksymiuk further states that tourism in the area has grown exponentially due to Gacek’s rise in popularity, which surpassed his initial projections. Some of Gacek’s followers believe that his self-assured personality and adorable appearance are responsible for his fame, whereas others attribute it to his celebrity status, attracting tourists to the city, which is renowned for its Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle, scenic riverside, and parks.
Kherlen, a history student from Mongolia studying in Germany, is one of many visitors hoping to meet Gacek. He eagerly expressed his desire to find the famous cat, although he is uncertain if he will find it today or tomorrow. However, some inhabitants of Szczecin are worried about the well-being of the feline. Marta Gluchowska, a nurse at the Szczecin Society for the Care of Animals, has observed people providing inappropriate food to Gacek. This is not the first time an animal has become a tourist attraction in Poland. In 2021, a golden retriever was rated the top tourist destination in Gdańsk on Google.