When Steve Munt retired from his job at NASA, he began studying animal nutrition and eventually came to own seven cats. The felines have a Twitter account with more than 12,000 followers. One cat in particular, an orange tabby named Pikachu, captured the attention of fans.
Pikachu contracted pancreatitis, and in January Munt made the difficult decision to have the cat euthanized. Now, Munt wants to memorialize the special cat by sending his ashes into space.
"To me that's comforting. I can look up and I can know that he's up there," Munt told The Lake Oswego Review. "And other people who have shared the love of Pikachu can do the same thing."
Munt has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for the $5,000 it will take to send Pikachu's remains into space. Munt is hoping to use the company, Celestis, to complete the mission, who reportedly told Munt that Pikachu will be the first cat they've memorialized.
"I don't see this as something frivolous," Munt told CNN. "You know, to me, it's a very deeply affecting experience for me."
Munt's fundraising progress, and updates on the lives of his six remaining cats, can be found on Twitter @growingupzee.