A black-and-white fat cat has become the top tourist attraction in a Polish city.
Instead of visiting historical museums and mediaeval castles, tourists visiting the north-western city of Szczecin, located close to the German border, make a beeline for Gacek.
Its name means “long-eared bat” in Polish and is pronounced “gats-ek”.
The chunky feline is so famous that someone even started an Instagram account for it, proclaiming it the “#1 tourist attraction in Szczecin”.
The cat also used to have more than 2,500 reviews with a five-star rating on Google Maps, but it was inexplicably removed a few days ago.
Locals said Gacek, who is also known as King of Kaszubska Street, first appeared on the street in downtown Szczecin about seven years ago.
It became famous in 2020 after a local news site featured it in a video which has racked up 4.5 million views on YouTube and Facebook.
Home for the rotund feline is a wooden box outside a shop, with a sign telling people to not disturb it while it is asleep and to give it a treat (or two) when it is out and about. The treats are believed to be responsible for its chunky size.
Tourists who came from all over the world to see the cat have only good things to say about the “distinguished, gentle creature”. “He even let me rub his cute little belly,” said Mr Edward Gladden.
Mr Tomek Wilk said he flew from Norway just to see Gacek.
“As expected, he didn’t pay any attention to me, which made the experience fully wholesome. If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, I would fly again in an instant to feed him,” he said.
But, it is not all kitty love. Some claimed the cat had scratched someone’s forearm, while another alleged that Gacek had stolen a sausage.