Pikachu, a well-loved housecat who died in January from complications following a battle with diabetes, is going to blast off.
Owner Steve Munt plans to send some of Pikachu’s ashes into space, according to Space.com – a strange tribute that will make Pikachu the first cremated cat to enter orbit.
Shuttling Pikachu into the cosmos will be pet memorial service Celestis Pets, an offshoot of the human space memorial company Celestis.
Munt is currently raising money through a GoFundMe to help pay for Pikachu’s US$5,000 ticket, but he told Space.com that he already bought the ticket for a launch “sometime in the next 18 months” anyway.
Celestis Pets has already launched the cremated remains of two dogs into orbit, where the company says the ashes will remain until they are vaporized upon re-entering the atmosphere.
A cat’s or dog’s remains will be too small to see, but the company poetically likens the vaporization to a shooting star streaking across the sky.
“I wanted Pikachu to be the first,” Munt told Space.com, saying he wanted to “continue his legacy as an explorer and show the world that a cat is just as worthy as a dog of a special tribute.”