THE STALKING CAT: THE RECORD BREAKING HUMAN-FELINE WHO TRAGICALLY PROVED ONLY TO HAVE ONE LIFE
- Stalking Cat would under-go a staggering 14 body modification operations, beginning in 1985, to transform himself into a trans-specie tigress
- From tattooing stripes all over his body; to bifurcating his lip; to surgically implementing whiskers onto his face, Dennis left no stone unturned
- With the total cost of his surgeries believed to be in excess of $200,000
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Dennis Avner was just like any other school boy in Flint, Michigan, during the 1970s. Following the demise of the ‘swinging sixties’, America settled back in to norms of more nuclear familiarity – and it was within this tranquil bubble of convention that Dennis was nurtured; but in the 40 years that followed, the man himself would prove to be anything but ordinary.
Born in 1958, Dennis Avner enrolled in the Marines as soon as he graduated from high school, but within just three years of doing so, the dark-haired, glasses-wearing, computer technician would resemble an entirely different person – or being – all-together.
Developing an increasing affinity for the appearance female tigers, Dennis left his post in the Marines in 1981, and, in the years that followed, he spent thousands of dollars altering his appearance to reflect a more feline form.
Following the guidance of an indigenous chief to ‘follow the ways of the tiger’, Dennis would under-go a staggering 14 body modification operations, beginning in 1985, to transform himself into a trans-specie tigress, in what he believed to be a tradition of his Native American ancestors, the Wyandot tribe.
From tattooing stripes all over his body; to bifurcating his lip; to surgically implementing whiskers onto his face, Dennis left no stone unturned in his pursuit to embody his furry muse, and it was an unprecedented feat that would see him secure the world record for the ‘Most Permanent Transformations to Look Like an Animal’.
With the total cost of his surgeries believed to be in excess of $200,000, Dennis Avner was propelled into the spotlight of oddity fame – and with his new form, came a new name: The Stalking Cat.
Often quipping he ‘found fame, not fortune’, The Stalking Cat claimed he never viewed himself as human, with everything he ‘said or did relating to that of a cat’ – even ‘purring’ in his sleep.
Described by his close friend, Shannon Larratt, as a ‘wonderful and complex person’, who was ‘at times as troubled as he was remarkable’, Dennis hoped to one day be the first person to undergo surgery to allow him to walk on all-fours, as well as mounting ears to the top of his head.
Flitting in-and-out of the media’s gaze over the years, Dennis Anver’s name would indeed re-emerge once again on November 5th, 2012, bearing a far more shocking and tragic subject-matter than the headlines before it.
Living in Tonopah, Nevada, at the time, 54-year-old Stalking Cat was found dead in his garage after taking his own life.
Survived by no immediate family, Dennis is still regarded as a pioneer in the world of body modification.
A full-list of Stalking Cats procedure can be found below:
Extensive tattooing covering most of his body, including his face
- Facial sub-dermal implants to change the shape of his brow, forehead, and the bridge of his nose
- Flattened nose, via septum relocation
- Silicone injection in his lips, cheeks, chin, and other parts of his face
- Bifurcating (splitting) of his upper lip
- Filing and capping his teeth
- Surgically shaping his ears, making his ears pointed and his earlobes elongated
- Surgical hairline modification
- Piercing his upper lip and transdermal implants on his forehead, to facilitate wearing whiskers
- Green contact lenses with slit irises
- A robotic tail