The Hermitage Museum in Russia’s Saint Petersburg will have to say goodbye to Achille the cat for the duration of the Russia World Cup 2018 – Achilles has been chosen as the official seer of the international soccer tournament and will predict which teams will win the various matches.
Achilles is a deaf white cat. His caretaker, Anna Kasatkina, said that Achilles was chosen because he is beautiful and special.
“We went for Achilles because he is beautiful, first of all, but also because – like all white cats with blue eyes – he is deaf, so he has a great deal of intuition, he sees with his heart.”
Achilles will be staying at the Cat Republic Café in Russia for the duration of the World Cup, which is a far cry from his life at the Hermitage, where he is a guard-cat tasked with keeping the museum free of mice.
He is the first animal oracle to rise in fame after the death of Paul the Octopus.
Do you remember Paul from South Africa’s 2010 World Cup? He accurately predicted the outcomes of each game Germany participated in. He would crawl atop boxes containing food and each box in the tank had the national flags of the teams playing against one another printed on them.
Many animal oracles have made a bid to play seer of various World Cup tournaments through the years, including Swiss guinea pig Madame Shiva and British piranha Pele.
Watch Achilles in action below.