"Achilles is at the museum now, he is about to pass the annual medical check-up and preparing to continue pursuing the career as an oracle [at the 2018 World Cup]," the Hermitage's press service said.
Achilles will have his check-up next week along with other Hermitage cats, veterinarian of the museum cats Anna Kondratyeva, told Sputnik. According to the doctor, the check-up is a routine procedure and is not linked to Achilles' potential new appointment.
Achilles has already fulfilled a similar role during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, also held in Russia.
The cat was chosen as an oracle for the Confederations Cup because of his good resistance to stress and well-developed people skills. Achilles, who was born with a hearing impairment, was also chosen in part due to his analytic abilities and unusual behavior.
— Санкт-Петербург.ру (@spbnews_ru) February 2, 2018
Oracle cat Achilles will predict the results of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Its caree took off after the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Bookmakers are in panic!
The cat made his predictions of a potential winner by choosing one of two plates of food, each marked with the flag of one of the teams.
At the moment, about 50 cats live in the cellars of Hermitage and a special department was formed to handle their needs.
The first game of the World Cup tournament — Russia vs. Saudi Arabia — will be held in Moscow on June 14.