St Petersburg, Russia (APTN / CBS Newspath) -- Achilles, a resident cat of the world's famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, has been officially chosen as an oracle for the upcoming football FIFA World Cup.
Achilles, a resident cat of the world's famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, has been officially chosen as an oracle for the upcoming football FIFA World Cup. Courtesy: APTN / CBS Newspath
The white, blue-eyed cat will be attempting to predict the winners by choosing between two bowls of food where flags of each competing team are attached.
During the FIFA Confederations Cup that Russia hosted in 2017, Achilles reportedly proved himself to be a pretty decent oracle, correctly predicting the outcome of three of the four matches.
Currently, Achilles is said to be undergoing intense training in "intuition skills" at the Cats Republic, a cafe which is part of the Cats Museum.
He has also been put on a strict diet to get in a shape for the World Cup.
Achilles was chosen from dozens of cats that inhabit the basement of Hermitage Museum.
According to Maria Haltunen, press secretary of Hermitage Cats, Achilles is deaf and also has a birth defect, but this is compensated with good intuition.
"We considered, and it turned out to be right, that when you lack something it is compensated by something else. That's why he was a very good oracle", Haltunen said.
The Hermitage is currently home to some 50 cats which live in the museum's cellars and catch mice.
Cats were introduced to the Hermitage, then the imperial Winter Palace, by Peter the Great in the 18th century.
Catherine the Great officially made the cats guards of the royal picture gallery.