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Achilles the Cat Named Official Animal Oracle for FIFA World Cup in Russia

Petr Kovalyov / TASS

Achilles the cat, a resident of Russia’s famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, has been chosen to predict the winners and losers of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

Achilles will follow up on his role as the official oracle of the Confederation Cup that Russia hosted last year, where he reportedly correctly predicted the outcome of three out of four matches. The blue-eyed oracle made his predictions by choosing between two bowls of food, each marked by the flag of a national team.

“This decision has been made, the papers have been signed,” the press secretary of the Hermitage cats, Maria Khaltunen, was cited as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Monday. 

Achilles, who was born deaf, was reportedly chosen as the oracle for last summer’s Confederations Cup due to his ability to weather stressful situations and his love for humans. 

Imported by Elizabeth I to control the mice population, cats have resided in the basement of the Winter Palace building, which holds a large part of the Hermitage Museum’s collection, since 1745.

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