Oracle cat sniffs victory for Russia at World Cup opener

Achilles, the deaf cat who serves as the official oracle of 2018 FIFA World Cup, sniffed victory for Russia ahead of the tournament’s opening match against Saudi Arabia on Thursday (June 14), TASS reported.

The cat, who lives in St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, has a rare ability to choose and analyse. The animal had correctly predicted the outcomes of three of four Confederations Cup matches played in St. Petersburg last year.

At a prediction session on Wednesday on the Russia-Saudi Arabia opener, Achilles chose cat food from the bowl with Russian flag after, of course, a little hesitation.

Such sessions will be held at the Hermitage Museum ahead of more matches as the tournament progresses.

Some 70 cats (one of them pictured), who live at the basement of the palace-turned-museum, are descendants of famous mice-hunters brought from the city of Kazan at the orders of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, during the 18th century. The cats at the museum draw a lot of tourists.