The world famous body modification enthusiast, Dennis Avner, also known as the “Cat Man” or “Stalking Cat,” was found dead early on the morning of November fifth. His sheer number of tattoos and other body modifications had earned him the world record for number of body modifications according to The Guinness Book of World Records. While his cause of death has not yet been determined, it is rumored to be caused by suicide. Avner was known to be very depressed in the time leading up to his death.
The 54 year old former US Navy Sonar Tech’s goal with his body modifications was to make himself resemble a tiger. His many body modifications included full body tattoos. His face and most of the rest of his body were covered in tiger stripes, while his arms and legs sported fish scales. He also had many surgeries done on himself to help in his transformation into a tiger. Some of them include filing his teeth down into fangs, and having metal whiskers implanted into his forehead. He also had his eyes sewn shut into the shape of cat eyes, as well as having silicon injections all over his face to make his face into the shape of a tiger.
He first came to into the public eye in the mid 1990s when he began appearing on many TV shows such as The X-Files and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Every since then Avner has become a staple of television whenever a weird and wacky personality, or examples of extreme body modifications were needed.
The reason for the “Cat Man’s” obsession with becoming a Tiger has always been a hot topic among those into the body modification scene, but according to his close friend, Shannon Larratt, who knew him quite well, the answer was very simple. Avner was born to two Native American parents, one of which was from the Huron tribe. This tribe has a rich history of trying to connect better with the spirit animals given to oneself. While a tiger is not exactly a traditional Native American spirit animal, this was his reasoning for his extreme form of spiritual worship.
Avner was found dead in his hometown of Tonopah, Nevada and leaves no family behind.