The predecessor of our city was Starapolė. It was founded by counts Markas Antonijus Butleris and Pranciška Butlerienė in 1739, and Marijampolė was founded nearby in 1750. Legend has it that countess Pranciška was very fond of cats, therefore, during the reconstruction of a small yard between the Kęstučio and P. Butlerienės streets, sculptor Kęstutis Balčiūnas erected there three cats playing in a water stream. Later the number of cats increased. After a while, visitors of Marijampolė noticed that, if you make a wish and pet the three cats, they grant your wish. But the cats are said to be as frugal as the people of this region so they do not grant financial wishes. Who knows, still worth a try.