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A formerly fat street cat that became the top-rated tourist attraction in the Polish city of Szczecin has recently found a new home.
Gacek, a black-and-white cat who lived in a covered wooden box on the city’s Kaszubska Street for years, has also slimmed down since shooting to fame in a YouTube video.
The clip, which has around 1 million views, shows the cat going about his daily life and receiving plenty of attention from locals. An Instagram account documenting his life currently has around 40,000 followers.
Gacek and his wooden box gained thousands of reviews and a five-star rating on Google Maps, making him the highest-rated ‘tourist attraction’ in the city. One listing for Gacek reportedly had around 2,500 reviews before it was removed, with its replacement listing garnering around 500.
As of 15 November, it appears there is no longer any listing. This could be the result of Gacek – whose name means ‘long-eared bat’ in Polish – having found a new home. According to Business Insider, locals expressed concerns over the cat’s health after he experienced problems with his teeth and joints. The city’s Animal Welfare Association took him in to be treated, and eventually announced that he had found a new home in September 2023.
In a more recent Facebook post, the Association gave an update on Gacek’s situation. According to translations, it reads: “I’m no longer Gacek. From today, call me George…. George Clooney in the cat version, yes that’s the new me!
“I’m fit and I’m good with it. I’m running up and down stairs, jumping on countertops,” it says.
The post also urges people to donate cat food in order to help other cats, saying that “the shelves near their cages are empty” and that they are “sitting in cages, waiting to be adopted”.