The new and leaner version of Gacek, the cat from Szczeczin, Source: Towarzystwo Opieki nad Zwierzętami Oddział w Szczecinie

Szczecin’s famous cat loses Google Maps rating, but finds health

Szczecin’s famous cat loses Google Maps rating, but finds health

Gacek now has a new permanent home and he has slimmed down to proper form

Do you remember Gacek? He was the most famous cat in Szczecin, and probably in all of Poland, thanks to becoming a viral sensation. Visitors and residents of the city tagged his favourite hangout spot on Google Maps and wrote reviews about him.

This fame brought him many fans and the city benefitted from it, too, as there were reports that some tourists even travelled from abroad specifically to get a glimpse of the black-and-white tabby.

However, fame is also a double-edged sword and while it gifts fortune and recognition with one hand, it often delivers unsavoury things like loss of privacy, and reduction in mental and physical health, with the other. It’s happened to humans, and now it’s happened to a cat, too.

Animal shelter rescue

You might’ve noticed that at the height of his popularity, Gacek was quite rotund and chubby, which surely gave him some photogenic charm, but it was also a signal that his health was not right.

Tourists would constantly feed Gacek, which led to him ballooning well over the norm for a fit street cat. As a result, he developed problems with his joints and teeth, and a veterinarian recommended that he shed 4-5 kilograms of his weight.

This is where Szcecin’s Animal Welfare Association (TOZ) stepped in and decided to do something about it by saving the cat, giving him shelter and helping him recover his health.

Images shared by the shelter last week show how the cat has been transformed, in particular by losing much of the extra weight. It’s like he’s a completely new animal now. TOZ reports that Gacek has the energy to run upstairs and jump on countertops.

And yes, it also means that you won’t find him on Google Maps anymore, but now his fame has a purpose.

The shelter added that to help other cats enjoy Gacek’s “miracle diet”, people can donate cans of cat food or contribute to a crowdfunding campaign launched last week called “Gacek buys food for the homeless”. 



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