The individual you are referring to is likely Dennis Avner, also known as “Stalking Cat.” Dennis Avner gained notoriety for his extreme body modifications, including extensive tattooing and facial surgery, to resemble a tiger. His transformation, inspired by his Native American heritage and a desire to embody the spirit of a tiger, garnered attention in the 2000s. Dennis Avner sadly faced personal challenges and passed away in 2012. His story is often cited as an example of the complex and sometimes controversial nature of extreme body modification and the lengths individuals may go to express their identity.
Indeed, Dennis Avner, a programmer from Michigan and a descendant of the Huron and Lakota Indian tribes, undertook a series of extreme body modifications to resemble his tribal totem animal, a cat. Despite his totemic name being “Stalking Cat,” the media often referred to him as Cat Man. Dennis Avner preferred to be addressed by his totemic name, Stalking Cat, reflecting his commitment to embodying the spirit of a cat through extensive tattooing, piercings, and facial surgery. His journey, rooted in his Native American heritage and spiritual beliefs, became a subject of fascination and discussion surrounding the boundaries of body modification and personal identity.
Dennis Avner, in his quest to transform into a tiger and embody his totemic identity of “Stalking Cat,” underwent a series of extreme plastic surgeries. These procedures included the splitting of his upper lip, modification of his eyebrows, adjustment of his hairline, and reshaping of his teeth to resemble fangs. Stalking Cat adorned his body and face with tattoos and wore yellow eye lenses featuring a feline-eye insignia. Notably, he even inserted a mustache into his upper lip, securing it with piercings. Avner’s dedication to his transformation was evident in the meticulous and extensive alterations he pursued to align his physical appearance with his totemic identity.
Dennis Avner, with his remarkable and extraordinary appearance resulting from his transformative journey, became a focal point of media interest. His unique journey to resemble his totemic identity as “Stalking Cat” led to numerous invitations to TV shows and interviews. Despite the significant attention, Stalking Cat expressed that he never kept track of the financial cost of his numerous surgeries. For him, the spiritual and personal growth derived from the transformation took precedence over any material expenses incurred in the process. His perspective underscored the deeply personal and spiritual motivations driving his extraordinary and unconventional path.
Indeed, finding a pre-transformation picture of Dennis Avner, also known as Cat-Man or Stalking Cat, is a challenging task, as he deliberately kept his original appearance well-hidden. However, there is a childhood photograph of Avner where he appears as a regular boy, emanating innocence with lovely eyes. This glimpse into his earlier years offers a stark contrast to the highly modified and unique appearance he later adopted in his quest to embody the spirit of his totemic identity. The photograph serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative journey and personal choices that defined Avner’s complex and unconventional life.