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Animator needs your help getting reluctant kitty to vet

Simon's Cat, a sassy cartoon creation with a big global following, is trying to raise money to go full-color with an extended animated short.

Simon's Cat really doesn't want to go to the vet. Simon's Cat

Simon Tofield unwittingly kicked off an Internet video phenomenon back in 2007 with an engaging animated short called "Cat Man Do." It introduced Simon's Cat, a fat-bodied, creative troublemaker of a cat that feline fans immediately related to. It launched a whole series of short breezy films that have hauled in over 500 million video views.

While the black-and-white films look deceptively simple, it actually takes a team of animators several months to make each episode, frame-by-frame. That's why Tofield has launched an Indiegogo campaign for an ambitious 11-minute-long color short called "Off to the Vet." The goal is to raise nearly $475,000 to fund the work. It's currently up to nearly $175,000 in pledges with 23 days left. It's a fixed-funding project, so if the goal isn't reached, the film won't happen.

All supporters will get an early preview of the film, but there are some fancier reward options at the higher levels, including having your own pet drawn by Tofield at the $860 pledge level. A popular option at the $60 level is a Simon's Cat plush toy. Backers outside of the UK have to keep in mind the cost of shipping on rewards, which can be high.

Tofield bases many of the mannerisms and humorous storylines on his own cats, of which he has a small herd. The vet story idea stems from fan requests and promises to feature the great lengths Simon's Cat will go to to avoid getting packed off to see the doc.

If funding goes through, it will take a crew of 15 people about a year to make the film. If you've ever faced the challenge of ferrying a reluctant feline to the doctor's office, then this is probably a film you'll want to see.