Narration: "A 'phantom limb' is the sensation that a limb is physically present when it's not.
"Neurological explanation: the relevant portion of the brain is still there, so it feels as if the limb is still there, too.
"Spiritual explanation: the spirit also stays intact, even if the body doesn't. This has to do with chakras and the astral plane."
The illustration shows a person with no left arm, but a phantom left arm.
"Phantom limbs are also experienced by therianthropes and otherkin. The difference is that these don't follow a human-shaped template. We may feel wings, tail, or any such thing."
The illustration shows a therianthrope with a human physical body, and a gryphon-shaped phantom outline. "We know there's no physical counterpart to these limbs. They're not visible to plain sight, and they pass right through everything, like a ghost."
The same therianthrope goes on a walk, their wing passing through the wall of a nearby building. "However, there are odd exceptions where a phantom limb responds to a physical object as if both were equally tangible." The therianthrope's wing hits a lamppost, making them stumble, saying, "Ow!?"
"There are also instances where people respond to the limbs as if they could see them."
The therianthrope stretches out a wing, and other passerby walk around it.
"Rarest of all, sometimes physical objects respond to the limb's presence."
A dragon therianthrope steps into an elevator, their phantom tail trailing behind them. The door closes on their tail. Someone else says, "Hey, what's jamming the elevator door open?"
Note from 2005: This is a short introduction to phantom limbs of therianthropes. There is much more to say about them, whether the usual kind felt by amputees as shown in panel 1, or the kind experienced by therianthropes. Panel 4 was suggested by a phoenix who wishes to remain anonymous. Panel 6 was suggested by a friend who had it happen as shown, and I've heard very few anecdotes about a paranormal phenomenon of that kind.
Note from 2015: Several folks have asked me about the phrase “phantom limbs,” which I used in my old Theri There comics. In 2005, that was the only name therians gave to that experience of theirs. Now, readers were concerned that it might be wrong to use that name for that experience. It's a sensitive issue, but it's also important to address, so I wrote a long blog entry about it.