Dennis Avner, the Nevada man who spent years trying to morph his body into that of a cat has died. He was 54.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Avner underwent a series of radical body modification procedures to make himself look like a female cat, from whiskers and ears to a mechanical tail.
His body was found in his home in Tonopah on November 5.
vner’s operations have included bifurcation (splitting) of his upper lip, surgical pointing of the ears, sillicone cheek and forehead implants, tooth filing, tattoos, and facial piercing.Avner, from Tonopah, Nevada, likes to go by his Indian name ‘Stalking Cat.’
‘I am Huron and following a very old tradition have transformed myself into a tiger,’ he said on his now-defunct website.
Descended from American Indians, Avner felt inspired after a discussion with a Native chief who inspired him to ‘follow the ways of the tiger.’With his overgrown fingernails, fangs and striped skin tone, Avner was a highly recognizable figure in his neighborhood.
His cause of death has not yet been revealed, yet some are speculating that up speculation that Avner may have killed himself.
Shannon Larratt, the former editor and publisher of BMEzine and friend of Avner, wrote in a blog post: ‘A wonderful and complex person, he was at times as troubled as he was remarkable, and he recently took his own life at the age of 54.’
His surgeries were done by Steve Haworth, an artist and pioneer of body modification techniques.
While Avner worked as a computer programmer, he often appeared at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! events around the world.