Daniel Avner, also known as “Stalking Cat” or Cat Man, has died. Reports online indicate he passed away earlier this month in yet unknown circumstances, but all signs point to a possible suicide.
If the photo attached to this article and the video below don’t offer enough clues as to why he was called that, suffice it to say that Avner earned both his nicknames after years of bodily modifications through plastic surgery, tattoos and implants.
The idea with Avner was to resemble a feline (a tiger) as best as a human person could do that.
The New York Daily News says his body was found in his apartment earlier this month. He was only 54 years old.
“A man whose numerous tattoos, piercings and other cosmetic surgeries earned him the world-record for body modifications died earlier this month under unclear circumstances. Dennis Avner, known as “Cat Man” was found dead on Nov. 5 in his home of Tonopah, Nevada,” the publication reports.
“The 54-year-old former US Navy sonar technician, also known by his Native American name Stalking Cat, had become famous for transforming his face to resemble a tiger,” adds the same media outlet.
One of Avner’s friends, Shannon Larratt, wrote on her blog that, with Cat Man, the transformation went beyond the physical.
She also went to great lengths to explain his goal of resembling the feline: it was all about blending with the natural world and, at the same time, to blur all gender lines. Avner was striving for perfection, in other words.
“[He was trying to transform] himself not just into a tiger, but a female tiger at that, blurring and exploring the gender line as much as the species line,” Larratt writes.
“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,” she further says.