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Achilles the Cat, Russia's deaf but highly gifted World Cup soothsayer

AFP  |  Saint Petersburg 

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

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

"We went for 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

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 He went on to predict the victory of 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 18:40 IST
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