June 14 (UPI) — A deaf white cat named as the official soothsayer of the 2018 World Cup in Russia has predicted the winner of the tournament’s first game on Thursday: Russia, of course.
The cat, named Achilles, made the prediction using bowls marked with the competing countries’ flags after some hesitation, ABC News Moscow reported.
Achilles is a blue-eyed resident at the world-famous Hermitage museum for cats in St. Petersburg, Russia. Inside Edition reported the cat makes up for his inability to hear with his psychic perception and intuition.
The feline went through intense training at the Cats Republic, a cafe that is part of the museum.
Hermitage veterinarian Anna Kondratyeva told Time Achilles “loves his motherland and couldn’t vote otherwise.”
Achilles was also the psychic predictor for last summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup, and showed off his skills by correctly guessing three out of four major matches, including the final match.
Animal psychics have become a traditional feature of World Cup tournaments, with Achilles following Paul the “psychic octopus,” who predicted all eight results of Germany’s national team successfully in a 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Paul, who died in 2014, similarly signaled his predictions by choosing between boxes of food lowered in his tank with flags of of the opposing teams.