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We’ve all heard of directors crowdfunding their movies (see: David Cross), but this one’s new: Brooklyn filmmaker Alex Ross Perry, the ex-Kim’s Video clerk who went on to write and direct Listen Up Philip, has launched a fundraiser for his cat’s cancer treatments. Fluffy, the feline in question, actually appears in the movie as Gadzooks — Elisabeth Moss’s character takes him in when she breaks up with Philip, the narcissistic novelist played by Jason Schwartzman.

In the film, Gadzooks is admittedly “a bit of an asshole,” but it seems his real-life counterpart is a real snookums, because Perry goes all-out in explaining why Fluffy — whose “large fuzzy face has appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Cinema Scope Magazine, Filmmaker Magazine, and many others” — matters more to him than his films. His plea, which you can read below, seems to be working — right out of the gate, the cash-strapped indie director has raised nearly half of the $11,000. Sadly, the professorial sport coat that Philip wears throughout the movie is not offered as a perk, or we might kick in a few hundos.

Fluffy The Cat is a vital part of my life. When Anna and I moved in together, I had never before had a cat, or a pet at all. Both my parents are allergic, so I never really got close to any cats. Fluffy changed all that. Through him, I learned the true meaning of what it is to have a pet who is family. This led to the adoption of our other cat, Smokey, in 2009.

Fluffy has been a huge part of my life ever since, sitting firmly on my desk at all times when I write or edit my movies. This was taken to it’s logical extreme when I cast him in the crucial role of Gadzookey in LISTEN UP PHILIP.

Fluffy really enjoyed his time on set, making new friends with his co-stars Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss. He also was happy to know that, thanks to the film, he would be immortalized in his prime for all time, and that when it was released, people the world over would be able to laugh at his foolish antics and comedic appearance. From his appearance in the film, Fluffy’s profile increased steadily. His large fuzzy face has appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Cinema Scope Magazine, Filmmaker Magazine, and many others. He now has his own IMDB page. I even appeared on a radio show about artists and their pets to discuss his influence and importance to my work and work methods. Fluffy was written about as one of the best cinematic cats of the year. The world finally got to meet Fluffy The Cat and I was incredibly proud of him.

Sadly, in June of 2014 Fluffy became sick. His nose was bleeding and we couldn’t figure out why. Many vet visits and trial treatments later, Fluffy was just getting worse. By August, he could not breath without great difficulty and spent almost all of his time hiding in the bathroom, unable to move around much or do anything.

In September we learned that Fluffy had a tumor in his nose, a form a lymphoma. It was a truly horrible revelation, after months of positive thinking that his mystery ailment would finally go away, to learn that it was cancerous was truly devastating. With very little money at our disposal but in the interest of helping Fluffy however possible, we signed up for an expensive course of treatment involving both radiation and chemo that needed to begin immediately. Fluffy is quite young, only about 10, so he should still have many years ahead of him. We wanted to make sure he got to enjoy those years.

Thankfully, the treatments were and have been successful; Fluffy went into remission immediately. Since early October, his breathing has been back to normal and his energy and robust appetite have both returned in full force. Unfortunately he has lost a bit of weight and fur, but thankfully had plenty of both to spare.

The treatment plan we signed up for was unaffordable; we knew that at the time but couldn’t live with Fluffy suffering loudly at home any more. It is because of this that we have to ask for help and support in paying for Fluffy’s treatment. I have never asked for crowd funding of any kind – never for any of my films or anything.

This is more important to me than that, and it is with heavy emotions that we must request support and donations for our friend Fluffy. Even getting to his lymphoma diagnosis was financially devastating. If I hadn’t just won a monetary award a month earlier for LISTEN UP PHILIP I wouldn’t even have been able to pay for the doctors that helped arrive at that conclusion. Sadly, after all that, I was pretty tapped out but still desperately willing to do anything possible for Fluffy.

I know this is a lot to ask. The past few months have been incredibly difficult and sad and any small way that people could possibly make this ordeal easier would be infinitely appreciated. Having Fluffy be well again has been the greatest gift of all, but now we must pay for that privilege. Fluffy’s treatment goes on for another few months, so we are not in the clear just yet, but his progress has been encouraging both day-to-day and in the opinions of his many doctors.

If you enjoyed Fluffy in LISTEN UP PHILIP, follow his exploits on instagram, or just love animals and want to be a part of saving the life of a very special one, I ask you to please help us pay for this life-saving treatment for Fluffy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this and if you are able, thank you in advance for helping save Fluffy The Cat.

Your friends,
Alex Ross Perry
Anna Bak-Kvapil
Fluffy The Cat