Dennis Avner is popularly known for his numerous body modifications and inks which is for the sole aim of looking like a female cat.
Dennis Avner was born on August 27, 1958, in Flint, Michigan.
He graduated from Oscoda High School in 1977 and went on to serve as a submarine technician. He was discharged 4 years later and he moved to the San Diego area and started working as a computer technician.
During those moments he soon fell in love with surgery and tattooing and again he wanted to look like a female tiger. He went under surgery, procedures, and modifications to achieve his dream looks.
Avner explained in an interview with Only Human, ”I’ve been a cat my entire life. I always related to cats. I always had a close relationship with cats.”
It didn’t take long before he decided to go by his American Indian name, “Stalking Cat” some even called him Catman.
For over 25 years, Avner continued undergoing modifications to look just like he wanted.
!I’m Huron and Lakota. I’m just taking a very old tradition, that to my knowledge is not practiced anymore,” Avner said.
He went on to remove his teeth and replaced them with tiger-like dentures; he even had his lip split to look like a cat. He also got six stain-less-steel mounts placed on his forehead and 18 piercings above his lip – which Avner could attache whiskers to on special occasions.
Avner also got nose and brow implants, injections in his chin and lip, and silicone injected in his cheek. He covered his entire body with tattoos.
”This is me. This is who I am,” he said in 2005.
The doctors revealed he was risking his health and life as some of the procedures were painful.
He spent over $200,000 on the transformations and reportedly ran into debt. Before then he made new friends while living in San Diego, Tess Calhoun. Tess and her husband Rick Weiss welcomed Avner with open arms and they soon became very close.
When the couple decided to leave for California because of Weiss’ job, Avner moved with them and their relationship was quite strong. They helped each other so much.
Their relationship came to an end after Avner faced a financial crisis and was asked to leave their home.
The public soon came to his help and one of them offered him a place to live in Tonopah, Nevada, and was able to get a job.
Sadly, Catman was found dead in his garage in November 2012. Not much information was disclosed about his death until later.
Shannon Larratt, who knew Stalking Cat, revealed what had happened on her blog, BMEzine, “Dennis’s boundary-breaking life was never an easy one, and as he was fond of saying, he “found fame, but never fortune”. 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.”
He was an inspiration to many. May the dead rest in peace.