Dennis Avner’s height is
5ft 10in (1.78 m)
Avner’s modifications included:
extensive tattooing, including facial tattooing
piercing of his upper lip and transdermal implants on his forehead to facilitate the wearing of whiskers
facial subdermal implants to change the shape of the brow, forehead, and the bridge of the nose (a planned future implant on the top of his head for mounting tiger-like ears)
flattening of his nose via septum relocation
filing and capping of his teeth to have a more feline appearance
wearing green contact lenses with slit irides
having his ears pointed and the earlobes elongated
silicone injection in his lips, cheeks, chin, and other parts of his face
bifurcated upper lip
Avner himself claimed not to have kept track of the money he had spent on body modification, although some sources do state a total. Avner, whose parents were of Huron and Lakota heritage, stated that altering oneself to resemble one’s own totem is an ancient Huron tradition. The former Navy sonar technician who worked as a computer programmer took on the name Stalking Cat and began his modifications after a discussion with a Native chief who reportedly inspired him to ‘follow the ways of the tiger’.
As a result of his unusual appearance, Avner attained local celebrity status and frequently traveled to attend interviews and photo sessions. He appeared and was been interviewed on such television and radio shows as Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Larry King Live, VH1′s Totally Obsessed, Kerrang! Radio’s The Night Before, BBC Choice’s Anna in Wonderland (Episode 6), and Animal Planet’s Weird, True & Freaky (2008 episode “Humanimals”).
Many of Avner’s body modifications were performed by Arizona-based artist Steve Haworth. The first artist to begin the extensive tattoo work on Avner’s face was Larry Hanks of San Diego in 1985.
Glenn McGee, director of the Center for Bioethics at Albany Medical College in New York, said of Avner, “Cosmetic surgery is a practice based on informed consent that needs to balance the risks with the benefits. It is possible to have a coherent view that is nonetheless detrimental to one’s well-being. This is a patient who’s being harmed by medicine in the interest of his tradition.”
Avner died on November 5, 2012 in his home in Tonopah, Nevada, at the age of 54.