FIFA World Cup 2018: Meet Achilles the Cat, Russia's deaf but highly gifted World Cup soothsayer

Saint Petersburg: A deaf, white cat named Achilles is soon to begin his work as Russia's official soothsayer for the World Cup, following in the tentacle-prints of Paul the Octopus who became a star in 2010.

Paul predicted winners for that years' World Cup by choosing one out of two boxes containing food, while Achilles will be presented with bowls marked with teams' flags.

"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," said Anna Kasatkina, a vet who oversees guard-cats at Saint Petersburg's Hermitage museum.

For the World Cup, Achilles will move out of his lifelong home of the basements of the Hermitage, where he works with a team of dozens of other cats to keep the world-famous museum free of rodents.

Instead he will live at the "Cat Republic" cafe nearby.

"He's going to live here for the duration of the tournament to keep him 'on form', since he has more opportunity to move and also meet guests," Kasatkina told AFP.

The cat is not the first animal to be positioned as successor to the celebrated Paul, who became the world's most famous mollusc when he correctly predicted all the matches of the German team during the South African World Cup. He went on to predict the victory of Spain in the final.

Swiss guinea pig Madame Shiva made a play for the crown in 2014, as did British Piranha Pele, but neither quite had Paul's foresight.


Updated Date: Jun 12, 2018 14:47 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: India’s top lifestyle bloggers share their trade secrets on the latest episode
  • Friday, July 27, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Reviewing Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Fallout in 10 questions
  • Friday, August 10, 2018 It's a Wrap: Fanney Khan stars Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Pihu Sand in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Partition's real cost: Sonam Kalra revisits accounts of separation, loss in a spellbinding performance
  • Monday, August 13, 2018 Asian Games 2018: How Indian women's hockey team moved on from heartbreak at London World Cup

Also See